Press Release

Going global: UK Space Agency to build international partnerships using UK expertise

By SpaceRef Editor
December 9, 2013
Filed under , ,
Going global: UK Space Agency to build international partnerships using UK expertise

The new five-year Global Collaborative Space Programme, announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement on 5 December, will allow the UK Space Agency to increase its international portfolio by fostering projects of mutual interest with other countries, with this initial tranche of funding focused on using space to assist in social and economic development.

This new investment will be enabled by a series of Memorandums of Understanding between the UK Space Agency and international partner agencies. Projects within the programme will be defined jointly with international partners, but may include applications of space data for development, collaboration on education and training for sector skills.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, gave more detail about the programme at the Appleton Conference last week saying, “Britain’s expertise in space science, applications and training, as well as our technological lead in small satellites, make us the partner of choice for countries looking to develop their national capabilities. We are able, with this programme, to open new markets around the world for British industry and share British expertise. I am delighted that we are able to deliver something that has been flagged as a priority by our scientific and technology communities.”

During the recent UK trade delegation to China, David Parker, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, signed an expanded Memorandum of Understanding with the Vice Administrator Zhang Jianhua of the China National Space Administration, witnessed by the Prime Minister and David Willetts. The agreement begins the process of identifying collaborative opportunities that have the potential to deliver real economic growth and social benefit for both countries.

Dr David Parker, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said, “This new funding follows a very successful year of international collaboration by UK industry with countries such as Russia, Brazil and Kazakhstan. The Global Collaborative Space Programme will allow us to build on this success story and its partnerships will play an important role in helping us reach our ambition to capture a #40 billion share of the global space market by 2030.” 

The UK trade delegation to China also witnessed the signing of an agreement by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and DMCii with their Chinese partners 21AT for the launch of a high resolution Earth observation service following a #110M contract signed in 2011.  SSTL also signed an agreement with the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) for potential collaboration on satellite applications and training.  

The Global Collaborative Space Programme will also address a key recommendation of the ambitious Space Innovation and Growth Strategy’s Action Plan – a set of proposed measures, published in November 2013, designed to enable the UK to develop an even more supportive business environment for space companies to deliver growth and benefit to the national economy. The #80 million of funding for the GCSP will support the plan’s recommendations to improve collaboration with nations across the world and enhance the UK’s competitive edge in export markets.

Press Contact

Matt Goodman

Head of Communications

Tel: 01793 41 8085


Notes to Editors

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.  It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions. The Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. It leads the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens. 

The UK Space Agency: 

*Co-ordinates UK civil space activity

*Encourages academic research

*Supports the UK space industry

*Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad

*Increases understanding of space science and its practical benefits

*Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers

*Licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft

*Promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space programme.



SpaceRef staff editor.