Space Technology: Buckinghamshire

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 26th February 2021.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support innovation in small satellite propulsion technologies in the context of the announcement of the UK Space Agency’s planned National Propulsion Test Facility at Westcott.

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Government has invested £4.12m in the National Space Propulsion Test Facility to support innovation in small satellite propulsion technologies; building on significant existing facilities and expertise at Westcott, Buckinghamshire. This facility will enable leading edge research and promote the development of an innovation community across the UK around space propulsion that stimulates R&D, facilitates the transfer of ideas between the research community and industry, and develops a pool of skilled people appropriate to the future needs of the industry and the sector. The facility can then enable UK Space companies to maintain and grow their competitive edge internationally through a world-leading facility that is attractive to foreign direct investment and one that will also allow universities to take on cutting-edge propulsion research topics. This environment will promote effective work between the research community and the commercial sector which will accelerate: innovation, knowledge exchange and commercial exploitation of propulsion and engineering research. These steps to support innovation will also help develop sovereign small satellite launch capability and the participation in international launcher R&D programmes.

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