›A New Space Age for Britain: The Future of Britain's Space Economy
Space is increasingly important in all our lives. Applications from space underpin many of today’s major commercial sectors; they provide essential information to understand our planet’s environment, changing climate and weather; enable great strides to be made in the scientific understanding of our Solar System and beyond; and they provide innovative tools for enhancing our quality of life.
The entire UK space sector currently contributes £6.5 billion to the UK economy, supporting around 68,000 direct and indirect jobs. The recession busting trends of the space industry has enabled it to successfully ride the downturn, and it is also predicted to grow by an average of 5% per year until 2020. According to the recent study by Oxford Economic Forum, The Case for Space: The Impact of Space Derived Services and Data, a thriving space sector will play an important role in building Britain’s future and the recession busting trends of the space industry is a testament to the nature of business that will generate the jobs of the future.
The Government is determined to help the UK maximise its world-leading strengths in the space sector. It recently announced the Space Innovation and Growth Team which offers a huge opportunity for the UK government to work alongside industry to define a clear plan – a 20 year vision – and come up with a strategy for growth and employment.
On 22 July 2009, the European Space Agency (ESA) arrived in Harwell, Oxfordshire. The ESA facility at Harwell is expected to be a key element of a much-wider vision for the future of the UK’s fast-growing space economy which will see the creation of an International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC). ISIC will bring together academia and industry dedicated to the innovation of space science, research and technology. Furthermore, at the launch of the new European Space Agency facility at Harwell, Lord Drayson, Minister for Science and Innovation, formally launched the Government’s consultation on the creation of a British Space Agency.
As a new space age for Britain beckons, this forum will offer delegates the opportunity to examine and discuss the full potential of space exploration and exploitation in building Britain’s future, providing new business opportunities and supporting sustainable development.