Press Release

Lord Sainsbury Launches Three-Year Strategy for UK Space

By SpaceRef Editor
January 22, 2003
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Science Minister Lord Sainsbury today has unveiled the Government’s plans for the UK Space industry for the next three years in a draft consultation document. Lord Sainsbury said:

“The draft strategy is focused much more than before on the use of space systems throughout the economy. This will require the space community to work even more closely with commercial companies. Increasingly, space is opening up new commercial opportunities in areas such as telecommunications and global positioning systems and a key objective of the draft strategy is to provide a framework which will enable UK companies to take advantage of these opportunities.”

The Government has set three key objectives for the Space industry. They are:

  • Enhancing the UK’s standing in astronomy, planetary and earth sciences;
  • Stimulating increased productivity by promoting the use of space in government, science and commerce; and,
  • Developing innovative space systems, to deliver sustainable improvement in quality of life.

The strategy sets out how we plan to deliver these through world-beating services and technologies and achieve greater use and market acceptance of all types of space services in the UK.

The UK will continue its policy of investing selectively in space and of focussing on achieving its objectives cost-effectively, and through international partnerships. The strategy is primarily focussed on the years 2003-06, but for the first time it also sets out the necessary long-term perspective to 2015.

The UK space industry is innovative, competitive and export-orientated. A study last year into the size and health of the industry showed that turnover had increased by 17 per cent to £2.9 billion with employment up 14 per cent. The UK has world-class expertise in many areas including telecommunications, small satellites, earth observation and radar technologies.

The draft strategy published today on the BNSC website begins a three-month consultation including a public meeting on March 11. The UK space community, users and potential users of space services are invited to submit their comments on any aspect of the draft. After a three-month consultation period all comments will be analysed and will feed into the final document, which is due to be published later this year.

SpaceRef staff editor.