The UK is set to build on its success as a leader in the provision of climate data and services, with a new strategy to increase the use of space technology in this growing market.
The strategy, released today (31 January 2013) by the UK's Space Leadership Council, highlights opportunities for the use of satellite data in the provision of commercial information services worldwide. Services involving weather and climate are already worth around #26 billion with growth at between 6% and 10% per annum and the carbon market intelligence sector is worth around #30 billion with the potential to grow at between 12% and 15% per annum.
Prepared by a cross industry and Government group in the UK and chaired by Professor Richard Brook, the strategy was led by the Met Office, NERC and the UKspace Trade Association. As part of the implementation of the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy, it sets out a vision to address opportunities to exploit satellite observations which will position the UK to:
- lead the creation, use and sale of credible, trusted climate knowledge;
- develop tools to evaluate climate change policy proposals, monitor policy implementation, enhance guidance on climate tipping points and extreme weather events and improve decision-making;
- establish world leading capabilities and facilities for producing readily available satellite observations and data;
- become recognised as the leading reference point globally for Earth Observation measurement science and metrology best practice;
- grow its own network of world leading suppliers of integrated Climate Services;
- capture a growing share of the commercial market for Climate and Climate-related Services.
This vision is underpinned by a set of five recommendations and twelve practical actions. David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science and co-chair of the Space Leadership Council said:
"The UK has a world-leading space technology industry. To build on this success we need to secure a growing share of global markets, like weather and climate services. This excellent report sets out a range of commercial opportunities to help drive growth and foster innovation in the sector. It complements Government's recent support of #1.2 billion for the European Space Agency and #25 million for a National Space Technology Programme."
Andy Green, industry co-Chair of the SLC said:
"This is an important report for the UK's space sector and sets out a series of ambitious but practical steps to secure leadership of services in climate and climate-related activities. This report sets out how we can bring industry and the new structures for the space sector - the UK Space Agency, the Satellite Applications Centre and Research Councils - to grow UK's position in the global markets for climate related information services that are already worth #50 billion.
UK Space Agency
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Notes for editors
The Space Leadership Council (SLC)
The Space Leadership Council (SLC) was created in response to a recommendation by the independent, industry-led Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS). The strategy was published in February 2010 by the Space Innovation and Growth Team.
Its duties include:
- providing advice to the UK Space Agency on its work plan and future opportunities; offering advice on the areas of space activity in which the UK should seek to develop and maintain global leadership; and
- promoting the UK's space industry and scientific excellence in space research, technology and applications and overseeing the implementation of agreed recommendations of the Innovation and Growth Strategy.
UK Space Agency
The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space. It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.
The Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. It leads the UK's civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens.
The UK Space Agency:
- Co-ordinates UK civil space activity
- Encourages academic research
- Supports the UK space industry
- Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
- Increases understanding of space science and its practical benefits
- Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
- Licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
- Promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space programme