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Thames Valley a key part of HMG’s National Space Strategy

09:28 29 September in Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing, Buckinghamshire, News, Oxfordshire, Talent and Innovation

Space presents significant opportunities; the global space economy is projected to grow from an estimated £270 billion in 2019 to £490 billion by 2030. Constellations of satellites are being launched to deliver worldwide services. New state and commercial space stations are being planned and built. And space tourism operators are flying their first customers into space. However, as the opportunities have grown, so too have the threats; our potential adversaries are developing capabilities that will put our people, equipment and information networks at risk and make it harder to protect the UK. Space is changing, the UK must respond.

This first ever National Space Strategy brings together the UK’s strengths in science and technology, defence, regulation, and diplomacy to pursue a bold national vision. This strategy identifies five goals and activities that government, academia and industry will need to take to achieve them.

These include:

  • Grow and level up our space economy
  • Promote the values of Global Britain
  • Lead pioneering scientific discovery and inspire the nation
  • Protest and defend our national interests in and through space
  • Use space to deliver for UK citizens and the world


The strategy also looks to support businesses in forming and developing clusters based on areas of local excellence, and identifiable domestic and international market opportunities, connecting these clusters nationally to form a networked ecosystem. This includes two Centres of Space Activity based in the Thames Valley, Harwell Space Cluster (Oxfordshire) and Westcott Venture Park (Buckinghamshire).

The government is overseeing the fastest ever rise in public funding for research and development, and space is benefitting from this step-change increase in investment. Legislation has been introduced to establish an Advanced Research and Invention Agency. HMG are developing research and development (R&D) infrastructure such as the National Satellite Test Facility in Harwell and have opened a new National Space Propulsion Test Facility in Westcott, which will help space business test payloads and propulsion engines in the UK.

The Satellite Applications Catapult will continue to bridge the gap between the UK’s world class research communities and UK businesses, helping organisations realise the potential of space technologies and satellite-based services. It will continue to provide facilities, technology demonstrators, tools, and data platforms for organisations to access.

To download the report, click here.

To find out more about Space in the Thames Valley, click here.