The Space sector has an increasing impact in everyday lives, from the delivery of television services and content, communications, navigation and timing through to new applications using more precise imagery of the Earth. The Technology Strategy Board provides a powerful link between the development of space technologies and the application and use of said technologies in various other domains, such as transport, agriculture and ICT.

The Space Innovation Landscape

As the UK’s innovation agency the Technology Strategy Board recognises that innovation in the space sector through the advancement of space technologies and capabilities has wider commercial benefits for many other businesses and sectors. In the past decade the UK’s space sector has grown by nearly 10 per cent each year and according to the National Space Technology Steering Group revenues in this sector could reach £40bn per annum by 2030.

One of our main aims is to promote UK businesses operating in growing commercial sectors. In this arena we work closely with the UK Space Agency to enable the development, commercialisation and exploitation of space technologies. We support businesses that have the potential to be world leaders and where economic growth and continued success can contribute to the sustainable long term economy of the UK.

Currently the space sector contributes £7.5bn a year to the UK economy, directly employs 24,900 people and supports a further 60,000 jobs across a variety of industries.

As part of our service level agreement with the UK Space Agency the Technology Strategy Board will be the main delivery partner for telecommunications and navigation programmes, including those run by ESA (European Space Agency). This includes sending national delegates to the steering boards of both these programmes. In addition we:

  • Promote business opportunities for the UK Space industry across other growth sectors
  • Provide Technology Demonstration opportunities
  • Use and promote knowledge transfer to drive growth
  • Encourage and facilitate open Innovation to accelerate commercialisation

In addition we use other business support mechanisms which are designed to increase collaboration and knowledge sharing within and between the space sector:

We work alongside the European Space Agency (ESA), promoting UK business within a wider platform in the areas of telecommunications and satellite navigations systems. ESA exists to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space technology continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, we can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

The UK is a major contributor to the ESA ARTES programme which plays a key role in the development of satellite telecommunications technologies in the UK and Europe as a whole

For UK businesses, ESA offers a double advantage – it not only enables them to join forces with European counterparts on an international scale against bigger industrial single nations such as China or the USA but secondly ESA acts as a valuable source of expertise and knowledge.

Overview of our role

Alongside the financial aspect of our support within the space technology industry, through CRD competitions, is the equally important element of the networking opportunities we provide. In focusing our support on the impact that space technology has on everyday life we are working with a diverse range of businesses and organisations that see space technology as a facilitator or foundation to help grow or develop their business. As such we deal with many cross functional consortia and groups that have come together with the common purpose of exploiting space technology for commercial gain. Through this vast network of connections we are able to bring companies together and expose them to new opportunities and potential partnerships that might not otherwise have occurred.

This network has also positioned the Technology Strategy Board to appoint a cross cutting or Special Interest KTN group for the space sector. This forum has facilitated the development of a “National Space Technology Strategy” and supporting roadmaps, which have been endorsed by the recently formed Space Leadership Council (and the UKSA agency. This strategy not only provides focus to the Technology Strategy Board but is a National Strategy used by the UK Space Agency and as a reference by external bodies such as the ESA and the EC.

The Technology Strategy Board also provides the National Contact Point (NCP) for the space sector with the European Commission for Framework 7 and Horizon20:20 work.

Last updated on Tuesday 08 May 2012 at 11:25

Copyright © 2013