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UK space sector gets new government support

Posted 25 February 2021 · Add Comment

A series of measures to support the UK’s space sector in building back better have been outlined by the government today.

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The space sector, which currently employs around 42,000 people in the UK and supports approximately 15% of the UK’s wider GDP through space-based services, will benefit from measures that will boost exports and investment, including:

Investment promotion:

  • Continued support of the Leicester Space Park as a HPO for foreign investors, following on from its launch in Spring 2019.
  • The HPO scheme identifies opportunities to attract foreign direct investment into emerging sectors and regions – creating new jobs and growth.
  • Use of GREAT campaign branding to build a suite of new space-specific marketing material for external events.

Export support:

  • Set up a new virtual Space Sector Export Academy to provide training to SME space businesses and increase international trade, investment skills and knowledge.

Government coordination:

  • Working with other government departments and local partners to reduce trade barriers and support international partnerships to generate commercial opportunities.

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP said: “The UK’s vibrant and innovative space sector continues to push new frontiers. But, like so many, the sector has been hindered by the pandemic and it is vital that we provide support today to create the exciting opportunities of tomorrow.

“The space sector generates more than a third of its income from exports. We want to help businesses grow their exporting, and measures like the Space Sector Export Academy will upskill Space SMEs to do just that."

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: "The UK's space sector has shown incredible resilience throughout the past year, and it’s critical that we help to get this dynamic industry growing faster so that we can establish Britain as a leading player in the commercial space race.

“This package of government support will enable UK space businesses to flourish, creating highly skilled jobs while driving forward innovative new products that will help improve all our lives, as we build back better from the pandemic".

UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart said: "We are entering a new era for the space industry and for space exploration, and Scotland is a key player in the industry.

"The UK Government is driving investment in Scotland’s space industry, with funding at an all time high.

"The space sector will be an important part of Scotland’s economic future, bringing highly skilled jobs and investment to Scotland.”

Nick Shave, Chair of UKSpace said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the UK space sector, particularly due to lower export demand and reduced inward investment confidence. 

“We welcome this package support measures that the Department of International Trade has created. The measures will help innovative UK companies to position space technology and space-enabled services in the fast-growing global space market which is predicted to grow to over £400 billion per annum by 2030. 

“Space has real potential to be a major UK industrial success story if government and industry works closely together in partnership via initiatives like this DIT Space Sector Covid Support Plan.”

These measures are the latest in a series of economic-support announcements to help sectors across the UK, from Agri-food & drink and tech, to retail & consumer to education, build back better from the pandemic through overseas trading and government support.

The latest package follows the UK-Australia Space Bridge signing on 23 February 2021. The partnership will increase expertise and investment, enhancing cooperation and alignment between the UK Space Agency, Department for International Trade, Austrade, and the Australian Space Agency to coordinate opportunities for governments and companies to work on space-related activities.

A virtual roundtable will be held on 1st March 2021 on the announcement and the support it will provide for space-sector businesses. Those interested can register to sign up
here .

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