Space Innovation and Growth Team
|Formation||February 10, 2010|
|Purpose||Strategic planning of the UK space industry|
|Main organ||Executive Steering Board|
|Affiliations||Virgin Galactic, BNSC, UK Space Agency, Surrey Satellite Technology, Astrium, Technology Strategy Board, Avanti Communications, Imperial College London, Broadband Stakeholder Group|
The Space Innovation and Growth Team (also known as the Space IGT) was a joint UK government and industry initiative which defined a 20-year vision and strategy for the future growth of the UK space industry - launched on 10 February 2010 as the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS).
A Space Innovation and Growth Strategy was launched in June 2009. It was overseen by the Space Leadership Council. The launch of the Space IGT had the proposal for a new British space agency, to be formed by January 2011, which was formed in April 2010 as the UK Space Agency, which acted as the UK's space research council. The International Space Innovation Centre was also created as part of the Space IGS.
The SIGT has progressed into the government's National Space Technology Strategy, which was published by the Space Leadership Council on 7 April 2011. This strategy is overseen by the National Space Technology Steering Group which was formed in August 2010.
Its purpose was to "attempt to identify key trends and then list the actions industry and government need to take if they want to fully exploit the changes that are coming over the next 20 years."
This included "involving the entire UK space community in setting out the challenges and opportunities that will govern its future value, competitiveness and growth". A "20 year strategy for the future of the British space industry" would be created enabling Britain to become "a leader in the world space landscape", as well as creating jobs, income and adding economic value to the country. One of the topics would be to identify "facilitators and barriers, whether policy and government related, economic, financial, technological, innovation, or awareness and perception issues".
- Identifying and benchmarking the full UK space capability; identifying the future market opportunities; and proposing a policy for growth and a technology roadmap to support this
- Aligning the UK's civil, defence and security policies in science, manufacturing, and 'downstream' applications businesses
- Creating a 'space aware' culture and its importance to everyday life to maximise the potential for jobs and wealth creation in the UK, resulting in Space being factored and considered in business and HMG policy
The expected growth of the space tourism industry was expected to be one of the key trends of the next 20 years and Virgin Galactic had agreed to help develop the IGT blueprint in the hope that the UK could "mirror" the legislative measures of USA and Japan to enable the UK to stay at the forefront of the global space tourism industry. Science minister Lord Drayson called the space sector "a bit of a hidden jewel" with regards to its stealth but healthy contributor to the UK economy.
- Andy Green, IGT chair and Logica CEO
- Lord Drayson
- Perry Melton, Inmarsat COO
- Major Timothy Peake, ESA astronaut
Future of the UK space industry
In 2010 the UK space industry turned over £6 billion per year and supported 70,000 jobs. Major Timothy Peake stated that the Space IGT would "give us a great platform to say more about the commercial opportunities and how space can really contribute to the UK economy and jobs in the future."