by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Jul 17, 2012
The UK Space Agency have released data from its latest report on the 'Size and Health of the UK Space Sector'. The Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, announced last week at the Farnborough International Airshow that the total contribution of the space sector to the UK economy was 9.1B pounds for 2010/2011. With an average annual growth rate of 7.5%, the continued contribution of space to the economy is a remarkable success in the current conditions.
Government and industry representatives last week met in the Space Zone of the UK's flagship aerospace trade show to discuss the ongoing growth of the sector in the face of economic constraints.
The latest positive figures help show the upward path of space in the UK, and industry has recognized the opportunities. The conference, entitled 'The Space Growth Agenda: Meet it or Beat it', has provided a forum to explore the opportunities available for expansion into and across the sector.
Catherine Mealing-Jones, Director of Growth, Applications and EU Programmes, spoke at the conference. She commented:
"Space is not a new industry in the UK; we have 50 years of knowledge and expertise behind us. And that knowledge and expertise forms the foundation for the opportunities of the next fifty years.
Space is now part of our everyday lives. There is a market growing for space data and technologies, ready to be developed by companies that haven't yet considered how space could help them. The UK Space Agency is working with industry to build a supportive environment for the commercial space sector."
The downstream sector, which uses services based on space technology, reported an average annual growth rate of 8.5% between 2008/09 and 2010/11. The programme today focused on applications in space which the UK has particular capabilities in and which also offer promising opportunities for growth. This includes use of satellites by the aviation industry, agriculture and for carbon trading.
The health of the UK industry reflects well on the past two years of strategic investment by government in key technological innovations, aimed to leverage the investment necessary for growth.
The UK Space Agency has been investing - through its 10m pounds National Space Technology programme, individual projects such as Avanti's Hylas-1 and the recent 21 million pounds investment in the new NovaSAR constellation. The Agency has confirmed the framework of how it will continue that momentum in the new 'Civil Space Strategy', published this week.
The figures announced this week show that employment in the sector has also continued to grow at an average rate of 7.5% per year. The Civil Space Strategy, highlights the need for a highly skilled technical workforce for the sustainability of the sector with 80% of the 28,943 strong workforce holding at least one degree.
Space has long been one of the unsung success stories of the UK economy with the sector consistently on an upward trajectory. Space is more in demand than ever and the UK space sector is working together to deliver.
UK Space Agency
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