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Space and the growth agenda


The UK has a long heritage of involvement in space. The UK industry is involved in most aspects of space activity, providing hardware, software, infrastructure and services for many of the world’s space activities – both scientific and commercial.

Lisa Pathfinder at Astrium. Credit: EADS Astrium
Lisa Pathfinder at Astrium.
Credit: EADS Astrium

The UK is a world leading manufacturer of large communications satellites, smaller satellites and leads in the development of many of the instruments that look down at the earth and look out at the universe from space.  UK research in space science and earth observation combine with this strong industrial base to underpin a powerful and globally competitive set of national competences.  The UK also has many smaller companies who draw upon the past heritage of UK technology, the country’s current deep skills and knowledge base, and its expertise in financing new ventures.  These companies are pushing forward into exciting areas of breakthrough technology like new launcher concepts, new uses of imagery, data and positioning and timing information from space, and cutting edge software and electronic hardware.  They will secure UK jobs and markets for the future, and help to maintain the powerful growth that the space industry has delivered year on year, and continues to deliver through challenging economic times.

The UK Space industry and research base makes space one of the nation’s pre-eminent sectors, with levels of growth and R&D investment in to match.  It is made up of highly qualified people with long experience and deep knowledge. Space acts as a beacon to attract a new generation of engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs into activities that are both vital in solving the challenges faced by society and in generating the economic activity needed to drive sustainable growth.  Government investment in space over many years has been carefully targeted to support existing UK competences and develop into new areas where UK can lead.  UK industry and research competes and wins on a global stage, and government support is tailored to build on and drive this international reputation and presence through the core policy of leveraging activities through strong involvement in the European Space Agency and other bilateral and multilateral projects and agreements.  Space business and activities in the UK are better placed than almost any other sector to weather challenging economic times, and to emerge into the future as an ever stronger force in the global space economy.

 

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The UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.

The UK's thriving space sector contributes £9.1 billion a year to the UK economy and directly employs 28,900 with an average growth rate of almost 7.5%. (The Size and Health of the UK Space Sector 2010/11, preliminary survey results.)

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