To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what his policy is on future government support for the UK space sector.
The UK has a thriving space sector worth £11.3b to the economy and satellites have been acknowledged as one of the UK’s Eight Great technologies, fundamental to our future economy. The UK’s Civil Space Strategy, 2012 to 2016, will continue to guide policy in line with the goal of space contributing £40 billion a year to the UK economy by 2030.
As part of the Deregulation Bill, reforms to the existing Outer Space Act will come into force in October - reducing the burden on satellite operators, making the UK more competitive globally, particularly building on our expertise in small satellites. This continued growth is enabled by balanced investment in national and European space programmes.
At the European Space Agency’s Council of Ministers in December 2014, we committed additional investment of more than £200 million in Europe’s space programme, enabling the UK to further collaborate with Europe and develop world leading technologies, services and science missions. While individual opportunities will continue to be evaluated on their own merit, our broad policy goals remain: economic growth, scientific excellence and maximum benefit to citizens.
Working across government is central to achieving these aims. For example, the UK Space Agency jointly published the National Space Security Policy in April 2014 with the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Defence and Foreign Office, to set out a coherent approach to the UK’s space security interests, and the publication of a National Space Policy later this year will spell out the principles which underpin the UK approach to space.