New space agency aims to cut through the bureaucracy
A new executive agency is set to take over the British National Space Centre.
In an announcement made on Thursday, Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson said the agency will unite the six government departments, two research councils, the Technology Strategy Board and the Met Office that currently oversee the organisation of UK space activities, with the aim of cutting through bureaucracy and enhancing efficiency.
Speaking at Appleton Space Conference, Lord Drayson said: ?The new space agency is about making sure that the UK fully exploits its competitive advantage in satellites, robotics and related technologies.?
Space has been something of an unsung economic success stories in recent years. The UK space and satellite sector has grown in real terms by around 9% a year since 1999/00 ? more than three times faster than the economy as a whole. It currently contributes £6.5bn a year to the UK economy and supports 68,000 jobs. The UK is also currently second in the world only to the US in space science.
The announcement comes after a public consultation on how to fund and organise the civil space sector, so that it meets the challenges of the future and delivers the greatest benefit to the country.
As well as maximising the role of space technologies in driving economic growth in high tech, high skilled services, the new agency?s responsibilities will include strengthening the UK?s relationship with the European Space Agency; agreeing with UK industry how to maximise the benefits of space technologies; and working with the scientific community to provide a clear voice on decisions that affect the sector.
The Government will announce the name of the space agency next year.
Added the 15 December 2009 in category Innovation News