New Strategy Set for UK Space Sector

The Space Leadership Council has set out actions to boost the UK space industry and achieve outcomes of the Government.

The National Space Technology Strategy for the UK details priority research and technology areas to help the UK space sector grow including telecommunications and access to space. This will support the National Space Technology Programme announced in the Growth Review and help UK businesses make the most of foreign markets.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science and Space Leadership Council co-chair, said:
“The UK’s space sector is a key driver of economic growth and is increasing rapidly each year. In the Government’s Plan for Growth we committed to removing the regulatory barriers to further growth and announced a £10 million investment to start a national technology programme with industry.

“Today’s strategy is an excellent example of the value of working closely with industry, and I am confident it will provide our space sector with the advice and guidance it needs to truly flourish.”

Sir Keith O’Nions, Chairman of the National Space Technology Strategy Group who produced the strategy, said:

“The sector has committed an enormous amount of time and effort into delivering this Strategy and I thank the 200 or so people and organisations that have come together in the UK to make this publication today a reality.  We have always said that this is a ‘living’ strategy and we will update this on a regular basis.  “In the meantime, I look forward to this strategy being nationally owned and implemented because doing so is going to be critical to achieving the growth in the sector to which we all aspire.”

Andy Green, Chief Executive of Logica and Council co-chair, said:

“This technology strategy delivers one of the most important recommendations in the UK’s Space Innovation and Growth Strategy. Sir Keith has produced an excellent report that sets out the technologies we need to develop to grow our share of high growth markets and make the most of our involvement in European programmes and beyond. “I commend the Chancellor’s decision to fund the National Technology Programme, which I see as industry and Government working together to deliver a growth strategy. Industry will play a full part in this programme: this strategy helps set the direction of travel for the national technology programme and we will continue to contribute fully to national technology discussions, as well as match the Government’s funding.”

The National Space Technology Strategy is the result of a six-month process, working with all areas of the space sector and taking a range of views and expertise onboard. A series of ‘roadmaps’ were then produced, giving industry the clear, actionable guidance needed to drive innovation and increase market share in areas such as telecommunications, sensing, exploration and access to space.

The Strategy was presented to the Space Leadership Council today and takes forward one of the recommendations of the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy published in February 2010. It is market-led and governed by a set of underlying principles, such as creating wealth, bringing benefits for society and promoting the growth of a balanced space sector throughout the supply chain from businesses of all sizes and academia.


  • The Space Leadership Council is made up of industry, academia and Government, and provide strategic advice to the UK Space Agency.
  • The duties of the Space Leadership Council include:
    • Providing advice to the UK Space Agency on its work plan and future opportunities
      Offering advice on the areas of space activity in which the UK should seek to develop and maintain global leadership
    • Promoting the UK’s space industry and scientific excellence in space research, technology and applications and overseeing the implementation of agreed recommendations of the Innovation and Growth Strategy
  • The National Space Technology Strategy and the roadmaps are available via the Technology Strategy Board’s ¬_connect website (registration required but free) at
    The Strategy follows a £10 million Government investment announced in the Budget to start a national space technology programme, which will be matched by industry and channelled through the UK Space Agency.
    The Government’s Plan for Growth can be found at