New Agency brings industry under one roof for a more strategic approach to the space sector
A new UK Space Agency will take over responsibility for government policy and key budgets for space, replacing the British National Space Centre (BNSC), ministers announced today.
The Agency, which comes into being on April 1, will also manage major EU projects including GMES, Galileo and the EU Satellite centre currently funded by Defra, Department for Transport and Ministry of Defence respectively.
Announcing the new agency at a conference today, Science Minister Lord Drayson said: "The action we?re taking today shows that we?re really serious about space. The UK Space Agency will give the sector the muscle it needs to fulfil its ambition. Britain?s space industry has defied the recession. It can grow to £40bn a year and create 100,000 jobs in 20 years. The government?s commitments on space will help the sector go from strength to strength."
Currently, British space policy is handled by a loose partnership of government departments and research councils. The new agency will, for the first time, bring them together under one roof to allow a more strategic approach.
Germany, France and Italy all have national space agencies that speak with independent voices and are supported by single budgets. The UK, meanwhile, has until now devolved space decisions to a club of "users" facilitated by the BNSC.
The new agency will bring together six government departments, two research councils, the Technology Strategy Board and the Met Office.
In addition, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Lord Drayson have announced the creation of a new £40m international space centre at Harwell. The International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) is supported by £12m from BIS? Strategic Investment Fund. It will be sited with the European Space Agency facility that opened last July at Harwell, Oxfordshire.
Added the 23 March 2010 in category Innovation News