Satellites and space Contents

3Barriers to further growth

42.This chapter identifies where, how and why the growth of the UK space sector is being held back and looks closely at the importance of skills, finance and funding, and the regulatory environment.


43.Meeting the Government’s target of increasing the UK’s share of the global space market to 10% by 2030 is contingent upon a number of factors, not least having access to a ready supply of highly-skilled people to work in the sector, from engineers and mathematicians to data scientists and analysts. Witnesses were broadly optimistic about reaching the target but with one significant reservation. Skills shortages, and particularly a scarcity of engineers and data analysis skills, were repeatedly cited as factors that could prevent the sector reaching its growth potential.

44.In our recent report on the Digital skills crisis we highlighted “a pressing need” for high level specialist skills in data science and other disciplines. We recommended that the Government’s forthcoming Digital Strategy address the gap between the digital skills that children and young people take into their working lives and the skills actually needed by the digital economy, and map public spending on digital skills against employers’ priorities to help assess the effectiveness of Government measures in addressing the digital skills crisis.65

45.In the satellites and space sector, Professor John Remedios from the National Centre for Earth Observation believed that skills shortages were:

certainly becoming a problem. If you are going to expand the community that includes the science and industrial base, there are lots of requirements for skilled people [ … ] The amount of data we are getting is huge, and the ability to handle it is a big problem.66

For Andy Green from UKspace, skills were a “real crisis for the country”. He highlighted the challenge of analysing the “masses of data coming from Copernicus67 [ … ] and making it work in the real world”.68 He feared the problem was “falling through the cracks” which, in turn, risked making it “harder and harder for small companies to start up and find the skills they need in the UK”.69 Skills shortages were also identified as a potential reason for the slow uptake of space services across Government and the public sector. As Professor Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser at Defra, explained:

Very large amounts of data are available from satellites of a variety of different of types. [ … ] The large volumes of data are a challenge in their own right, but the number of people who have the skills to be able to process those data and the private sector involvement to provide the tools those people need to process the data is taking a while to get going.70

We described the risks of such a data analytics skills gap in our Big Data Dilemma report earlier this year, as ‘big data’ reaches further into the economy. Those risks were concerned not just with the quality and security of data but with potentially missed economic opportunities.71

46.When asked how the Government intended to overcome the skills crisis, and deliver the skills needed in the space sector, the Minister acknowledged that it was “essential” to train “sufficient skilled engineers and ICT specialists to meet the rapid growth we are targeting for the sector and to make the most of the opportunities that data can provide”.72 He drew attention to ongoing initiatives, such as the appointment of a “national skills point of contact” at the UK Space Agency and the “Astro Pi project” in schools.73

47.Much emphasis has also been placed on the inspirational value of Major Peake’s mission. The Minister was hopeful that this would have an impact across the UK “similar to the Apollo effect that the US managed in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s” and would prompt a “real uptick in the numbers of people taking physics, maths and other subjects at higher levels”.74 Innovate UK, however, cautioned that if the UK was to make the “best use of the hoped for ‘Apollo effect’ on the back of Tim Peake’s mission” it needed “to balance personal ambitions and dreams with attractive careers”.75

48.We were clear in our reports on Big Data and, most recently, Digital Skills, that the UK is facing a digital skills crisis. This crisis is already apparent in the space and satellite sector, where the need to process and analyse large amounts of data from satellites, and transform them into valuable insights, is a pivotal component of the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy. Without urgent action, data skills shortages could undermine, and potentially stall, the industry’s progress towards its ambitious 2030 growth target. Existing initiatives, and the inspirational value of the Principia mission, are insufficient to tackle the magnitude of the problem.

49.The Government should, as we recommended in our recent Digital skills crisis report, commit to addressing this crisis through a Digital Strategy published without further delay.

Accessing finance

50.Another barrier to growth, identified by both space SMEs and larger companies, was access to finance and capital. As Patrick Wood from Surrey Satellite Technology explained, space tends to be perceived as a risky, long-term venture which can dissuade investors:

Space is one of the areas where, if you are a new entrant or you have an idea that may not have maturity or is very innovative, people are naturally hesitant.76

51.Witnesses observed that the risk appetite of investors was generally lower in the UK than in the US. According to Neil Ackroyd from Ordnance Survey, the investment culture in the US, where they are willing “to accept higher risk”, is “radically different” from that found in the UK.77 UKspace suggested that the different culture was linked to the source of the funds:

Risk finance in the UK comes largely from funds investing on behalf of institutional or retail investors; they necessarily have to be more risk adverse than very high net worth individuals investing on their own account.78

52.To address part of this problem, an £83m venture capital fund for space has been established by Seraphim Capital. The fund is “based on a contribution from the British Business Bank alongside corporate and City investors” and is designed to “assist growing SMEs looking to further develop entrepreneurial space projects and applications”.79 Other witness drew attention to a range of concerted efforts, made by the space and satellite sector, aimed at shifting perceptions away from it being a ‘risky venture’. The Satellite Applications Catapult, for example, explained how it meets organisations and businesses outside the space sector in order to “raise the profile of the sector [ … ] and its potential to boost productivity and reduce costs”.80 Innovate UK also believed that the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy had “been a powerful forum for raising the profile of space as a commercially viable sector with impressive and attractive growth potential and heritage”.81

53.The Government, Innovate UK, the Satellite Applications Catapult and the British Business Bank have, by working with industry, helped to create opportunities for companies with a high growth potential to access much needed capital. While there is scope to improve access further, the establishment of the UK’s first dedicated investment fund for space is an encouraging and important step in the right direction.

Export finance

54.The ability to raise finance was described by Inmarsat as “only one aspect” of the ‘finance problem’. One of the key issues facing the satellite industry was the need for significant upfront investment to fund the construction and launch of a satellite, “with a payback over many years”.82 It highlighted the assistance provided by the US Export-Import Bank “to fund this large capital bridge” with “lower than market interest rates with a long tenor”.83 Though UK Export Finance was identified as offering “this to some extent”, Inmarsat maintained that it “has not been widely available for the space and satellite sector”.84 OneWeb also pointed to the need for a “strong UK Export Finance structure” in order to “effectively compete against those already existing abroad, e.g., EXIM (USA), Coface (France) and Export Development Canada (Canada)”.85

55.In its response to the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy, published in April 2014, the Government recognised that “a significant proportion of growth in the space sector must come from exports” and that “the development of a high level export promotion plan is vital in light of the [strategy’s] £25 billion export target by 2030”.86 It is not clear, however, what progress has been made on producing and executing such an export plan.

56.In response to our report, the Government should provide details of its progress on developing an export promotion plan for space. This should include information on export finance initiatives that will assist the space sector and how these compare with our international space and satellite competitors.

National demonstration programmes

57.One of the biggest barriers to entry to the space and satellite sector for SMEs was a lack of ‘flight heritage’ due to a dearth of flight opportunities. As Patrick Wood from Surrey Satellite Technology explained, “even if it is just a few components or a different type of material that they want to try, it is incredibly difficult for those types of companies to get those opportunities”.87 He added that potential customers would question the quality and feasibility of the space business’ ‘product’, and thus be reluctant to invest, “unless [they] have actually flown some of the technology”.88

58.Witnesses from both industry and academia therefore stressed the importance of national technology demonstration programmes as a means to bridge this innovation gap. Airbus was clear that “in-orbit demonstration, [could] only be provided by institutional missions (be they national, bilateral, or ESA, etc.)”, adding that “Government support for these demonstration missions [was] essential to unlock the commercial markets”.89 The Satellite Applications Catapult similarly noted that accelerating:

Innovate UK’s In-Orbit Demonstration programme, delivered in partnership with the UK Space Agency, [would enable] UK companies to demonstrate their groundbreaking space technology to a global audience, thus unlocking export opportunities.90

59.Dr David Parker reported that Innovate UK was “evaluating the possibility of a further technology demonstration satellite”.91 We were therefore encouraged to receive additional evidence that Innovate UK and the Satellite Applications Catapult have very recently “commenced a new programme”, based on CubeSats, to provide UK companies with demonstration opportunities.92

60.A lack of flight heritage is a significant barrier that space and satellite SME’s must surmount if their products are to become a commercial success. Given the scale of this barrier, we recommend that additional resources are made available to Innovate UK, so that it is able to expand further its In-Orbit Demonstration programme.

Direct Government investment

61.On occasions, the Government has made strategic, direct investments in space and satellite companies. This display of confidence can ‘prime the pump’ and stimulate investment from other, non-Government sources. We heard from Mark Thomas, Managing Director of Reaction Engines, about one such example. In 2013, the Government announced a £60 million investment in Reaction Engines (REL) to help support the development of SABRE—the world’s first air-breathing rocket engine. The announcement stated that the funding would be “staged over two years, £35m in 2014/2015 and £25m in 2015/2016”.93 According to Mr Thomas, however, the investment has yet to materialise:

It took two and a half years to get the grant agreement signed, and three years later we still have not seen any of those funds flowing into the company. Potentially, it is a missed opportunity in that it has given our competitors an extra three years to try to find ways to beat our engine.94

62.REL subsequently wrote to us in March 2016 with further details of the delays. It highlighted that communication between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Reaction Engines had been sub-optimal which, it suggested, “appeared to prolong the process”. According to REL:

REL leadership was not given access to the decision makers within BIS who were responsible for setting the terms of the grant [ … ] documents were given to REL without explanation and REL was unable to get access to individuals who were able to explain the thinking behind changes.95

REL also reported that “material changes were made to the conditions of the grant without warning or explanation” from BIS. This included a reversal of the Government’s previous position:

whereby REL was now informed that the £50m would not be approved until there was prior committed inward investment from an aerospace prime. The previous position of the Government was the reverse, as outlined by the Minister (“ …our investment will help to prime the pump for further commercial investment to supply the remainder of the capital needed for full engine development”). No explanation was given for this change.96

63.Dr David Parker from the UK Space Agency, however, had a different perspective on the Agency’s engagement with REL. He described “a process of helping the company understand the need to produce, first, a very coherent programme in steps”.97 When questioned on the delays, he told us that since it was “an R and D project under the Science and Technology Act [ … ] we had to ensure that what we were doing remained compatible with the terms of the Act [ … ] In addition, because it was a national project, we had to ensure that it met EU state aid rules.”98

64.Such delays have had tangible consequences. The US publication reported in March 2016 that the US Air Force Research Laboratory would shortly be unveiling novel “concepts based on Skylon space plane” technology, adding that the Laboratory had “been developing hypersonic vehicle concepts that use the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE)”.99 Avoiding ‘losing’ the technology to the United States was one of the initial reasons given by the Government for its investment in REL and SABRE.100 This was reiterated by Dr Parker, who told us that the Government’s “end goal was to secure this technology for the UK, not see it go abroad as has happened sometimes in the past”.101

65.Timely access to finance is vital if innovative UK companies are to reach their growth potential and break into the global space and satellite market. We are disappointed, therefore, to hear that the £60 million investment in Reaction Engines and its SABRE rocket, announced by the Government in July 2013, had not reached the company by February 2016. Delays of this nature risk blunting the competitive edge of nascent players in the sector by increasing the financial uncertainty that they face. We were particularly concerned to learn that material changes were made by BIS to the conditions of the grant without giving prior warning or explanation to Reaction Engines.

66.Direct Government investment is an important element of space and satellite funding and should be conducted to the highest professional standards. The Government, however, appears to have fallen short of these standards in its dealings with Reaction Engines. We therefore ask the Government to explain, in response to this report:

a)why it changed the conditions of the grant made to Reaction Engines almost two years after announcing the investment;

b)why it estimated that the first £35 million would be made available in 2014/15 and did not foresee any delays that EU State Aid regulations might present;

c)whether any other space and satellite SMEs have been affected by similar delays in direct Government investment reaching them; and

d)the key lessons it has learnt from this project and what changes it will make to the conduct of any future direct investments in the UK space sector.

Research funding

67.Gaps in research funding were repeatedly identified during the course of the inquiry as presenting a potential barrier to growth. At present, UK Research Council funding for space and satellites is split across many Councils, while other funds sit within the UK Space Agency and Innovate UK budgets. Witnesses stressed that projects often do not fall neatly under the scope of a specific Research Council, and the type of research it funds, thereby creating what UKspace described as “orphan areas”.102 This, in turn, can leave researchers struggling to identify and obtain funding. The University of Oxford, for example, described securing funding for basic research into space technologies as “difficult” because it “falls between the remit of EPSRC, NERC, STFC, and UKSA”.103

68.Falling between Research Council remits can also mean that researchers are “bounced” from one Council to another. Researchers at the University of Glasgow found that “if they put in an application to EPSRC, they would be told it would be better to go to the UK Space Agency; if they put in the application to the Space Agency, they were bounced back again”.104

69.Funding to enable researchers to take early stage ideas out of the laboratory, and into the prototype development and demonstration phase, was highlighted as particularly difficult to access. Professor Barstow from the Royal Astronomical Society, described the problem:

At the moment we have a gap [ … ] We have the STFC that funds basic research and the UK Space Agency that funds the building of space missions. The technology bridge between those two in terms of readiness is very hard to get across. We can start some basic research, but then we cannot find any money to translate it into capability that the space agency can then take to ESA.105

Professor John Remedios told us that there were “not enough joint academic-industrial programmes as opposed to one or the other” and that “pull-through from the research base” suffered as a result.106

70.These problems are not new. Sir Paul Nurse, in his 2015 review of the UK Research Councils, identified a need to establish “mechanisms to deal with cross-cutting issues such as the support of multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research, Grand Challenges and the redistribution of resource between Research Councils”.107 He therefore proposed that “the partnership of the seven Councils making up RCUK should evolve into Research UK” in order to “strengthen Research Councils in the effective formulation of strategy, promotion of research, and engagement with their communities”.108 The Government subsequently committed to establishing ‘UK Research and Innovation’ (UKRI) which will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and the research funding from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). According to the White Paper, Success as a Knowledge Economy, published in May 2016, UKRI will “deliver” a:

greater focus on cross-cutting issues that are outside the core remits of the current funding bodies, such as multi- and inter-disciplinary research, enabling the system to respond rapidly and effectively to current and future challenges.109

71.The funding gap problem was identified by a broad range of stakeholders. In its written evidence, the Satellite Applications Catapult highlighted “a gap around early-stage satellite-specific engineering, ICT and communications development, because the EPSRC does not support the space sector and STFC only funds space science”.110 When asked if that gap was being addressed, Mr Stuart Martin from the Catapult stated that he thought “there still [was] a gap”.111

72.At a subsequent evidence session, however, Dr David Parker from the UK Space Agency, questioned the existence of a funding gap. He stressed that “just as we [the UK Space Agency] work very closely with STFC, NERC, and Innovate UK, there are no barriers to working with EPSRC at all”.112 He later assured us that if there was “a danger of something falling through the funder pores—the gap between organisations—we will look at it”.113

73.Basic research is integral to building a successful space economy. The vibrancy and success of the UK space sector has resulted in more excellent research projects requiring funding than there are funds available. There is, however, a more deep-seated, systemic problem; namely that, under the current research funding structures, some satellite and space-related research proposals fall between the remits of the different Research Councils, creating “orphaned areas” of space research. Projects should not miss out on research funding because of inflexible administrative boundaries.

74.We are encouraged by Sir Paul Nurse’s focus on establishing funding mechanisms to deal with cross-cutting issues in his review of the UK Research Councils. The Government must explain how the newly-established UK Research and Innovation, overseeing the UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and HEFCE research funding, will be structured to avoid perpetuating the damaging, cross-cutting funding gaps. We further recommend that representatives from the UK Space Agency are members of the Strategic Advisory Boards of the STFC and EPSRC, to help ensure a more comprehensive, joined up approach to delivering research funding for space and satellite science.

Regulatory environment

Licencing and insurance

75.All UK operators of satellites, or other space vehicles, must obtain a licence from the UK Space Agency and take out third party insurance. The Outer Space Act 1986 requires a party carrying out certain space activities to indemnify the Government. Until 2015, indemnity had to be provided on an unlimited liability basis. Section 12 of the Deregulation Act 2015, however, makes provision for the Government to limit a party’s liability at €60 million. The Government has also waived Insurance Premium Tax on satellite launches. These changes have been warmly welcomed by the industry, with UKspace describing them as having helped “to create a level playing field for UK companies”.114

76.Some witnesses told us, however, that the regulations had failed to keep pace with new trends in the sector, especially the growth of small satellites and satellite constellations, and that further reform was still necessary. Richard Peckham from Airbus Group described the current regulations as having been “written on the assumption that satellites were big things and you just launched one of them, and that was it. If you are looking to launch hundreds of small satellites [ … ] you have to have a much more flexible approach”.115

77.Several problems linked to licensing and insurance were raised. First, unlike other countries which only require insurance to cover the launch of a ‘space vehicle’ or satellite, the UK requires the operator to have insurance to cover all parts of the mission (pre-launch, launch and in-orbit insurance). The Mullard Space Science Laboratory considered the current regulations to be particularly prohibitive for small satellites on the grounds that having “full insurance for in-orbit operations [generates] a higher cost for building and launching nano-satellites registered in the UK”. It added that this requirement also “slows and reduces UK participation and utilisation of this growing format of space technology”.116

78.Other witnesses focused on the level of the operator’s liability. Michael Johnson, an experimental physicist working on small satellites, stressed that the annual insurance premiums required to cover the €60 million of third-party liability insurance were “many times the cost of building and launching a basic CubeSat or other small spacecraft [ … ] making it completely uneconomic to license small British spacecraft”.117 The Satellite Applications Catapult also highlighted that the “€60 million requirement is currently per satellite, takes no account of satellite size or value and is particularly onerous for satellite constellations”.118

79.Witnesses commended the UK Space Agency for its ongoing efforts to tackle these problems. Patrick Wood from Surrey Satellite Technology reported that he had seen “a huge amount of work by the UK Space Agency to try to simplify” the regulation and licensing. Ross Marshall from Clyde Space agreed that the “UK Space Agency [was] supportive and [was] making big steps” in this area.119 According to the Minister, the Government is currently looking at whether it can:

put in place a traffic light system whereby small satellites meeting certain launch, orbit and technical criteria can be fast-tracked to licensing. We are reviewing how in-orbit operations insurance can be waived completely for any such fast-tracked small satellites; how insurance requirements can be aggregated for constellations of satellites to support these new and emerging trends within the sector; and aspects of how we charge for licensing.120

80.Concerns were raised by industry that the Space Agency’s proposed traffic light system, aimed at simplifying the licensing of small satellites, risked making it cumbersome and complex. Ruy Pinto from Inmarsat welcomed the attempt to make satellite launches more affordable but warned against “over-complicating” the process:

We should make it easier to launch satellites and further lower the insurance requirements [ … ] We run the risk that, with the laudable aim of making it simpler, we make it even more complicated for a small company to launch a small satellite [ … ] I think that €60 million is too much and it will stifle small satellites. Just lower it [ … ] The risk is minimal. We are, quite frankly, over-regulating on that front, both for small satellites and for bigger companies.121

81.Ross Marshall from Clyde Space went further, describing the traffic light approach as an “intermediate step” that he did not think was necessary: “You can go straight to the end goal. I do not see any need for liability insurance, certainly for small satellites.”122 He believed that, if the UK Government took the liability risk on board and managed it, the UK “would then attract a lot of businesses based on that. A company that builds satellites in Glasgow with us regulates them through the US for that reason.”123 Patrick Wood from Surrey Satellite Technology was more circumspect, noting that “at the end of the day, we are launching into space, so we have to be able to justify that we have done all the work that we would want to do to minimise the risk to the UK Government”.124

82.At present, the draft regulation recommendations published by the UK Space Agency refer to the specific case of CubeSats (a type of nano-satellite), rather than small satellites more broadly.125 To feed into this “regulatory work”, Dr Parker stated that the UK Space Agency was also conducting “some mathematical modelling to understand the risks” associated with small satellite and satellite constellations, including the ability to monitor and track them.126 This is particularly important when they reach the end of their ‘useful’ life and become space debris. Given the prospect of constellations of both large and small satellites, UKspace urged that “adequate arrangements are made for management of satellites and space debris”.127 Dr Parker acknowledged that “more needs to be done”128 in this area, though Patrick Wood of Surrey Satellite Technology stressed that it was “down to not just the UK but all the nations in space to behave responsibly”.129

83.The current licencing and regulatory regime has not kept pace with innovations in the space sector. While we welcome the changes made under the Deregulation Act 2015, the regulatory status quo risks stymieing a key growth area for the UK space sector, namely small satellites and constellations. The UK Space Agency (UKSA) is beginning to address industry’s concerns. Progress has been slow, however, and focused on the specific case of Cubesats, rather than small satellites more generally. It is vital that, while the UKSA maintains its reputation as a responsible regulator, it also does not adversely impede innovation and growth in the sector. We are concerned that the UKSA’s draft regulatory proposals, as they currently stand, risk complicating the process when the intention is to simplify regulation and make it more proportionate.

84.We recommend that the Government, in response to this report;

a)clarifies whether its published draft regulations are intended to apply only to CubeSats, or to small satellites more broadly;

b)sets out exactly how the Government’s plans for a ‘traffic light’ approach will simplify regulation for small satellites, and make it more proportionate; and

c)outlines what work it is conducting to understand, and address, the debris risk posed by satellites, including satellite constellations and small satellites.

85.To ensure that the pace of change does not slacken, the Government should commit now to a timetable for establishing regulations.


86.The electromagnetic spectrum (or ‘spectrum’) is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. In order to operate a network, a satellite operator must have access to spectrum for the Earth-to-satellite uplink and for the return path from the satellite to a ground station. The orbits that satellites occupy, and the electromagnetic spectrum they use to exchange data, are limited resources for which there is international competition. Access is managed by each country. In the UK, responsibility for managing civilian use of spectrum rests with Ofcom.

87.Since satellite networks have the potential to interfere with each other, their use of frequencies and orbital positions also needs to be carefully planned and coordinated at an international level. This process takes place within a framework of international rules operated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Ofcom represents the UK in the ITU and acts as the notifying administration for the management of ‘satellite filings’130 for companies or other organisations registered in the UK, the British Overseas Territories, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

88.Competing demands for spectrum, particularly between satellite applications and terrestrial mobile phone operators, were identified by Airbus, Inmarsat, ViaSat and others.131 While there had been concerns that the space and satellite sector was ‘losing out’ to the mobile phone sector, and treated less favourably, a number of witnesses stressed that the relationship between Ofcom and the space sector was improving. Ob3 Limited, a UK satellite operator, highlighted the recently signed memorandum of understanding between the UK Space Agency and Ofcom which, it stated, was “an important step in ensuring effective support for the UK space industry”.132 Similarly, Stuart Martin from the Satellite Applications Catapult told us that Ofcom had been:

leaning forward over the past year to try to understand the satellite sector better. I sit on the [space spectrum advisory committee], which is the one between the space community and Ofcom, and we have seen that engagement improve way beyond what I have known it to be in the past.133

89.Despite this progress, an ongoing point of contention related to a consultation launched by Ofcom in April 2015 on proposed changes to its procedures for the management of satellite filings. Joanne Wheeler, a lawyer specialising in space and satellites, told us that Ofcom’s proposed changes would:

put quite onerous responsibilities on satellite operators—new additional milestones, which are quite cumbersome, beyond what is necessary at [International Telecommunication Union] level and beyond what is necessary to other administrations from the ITU.134

She added that what Ofcom was proposing was “potentially more cumbersome than, say, what the French, the Dutch and the Germans are proposing”.135 In its response to Ofcom’s consultation, Inmarsat concluded that:

the addition of several of the new milestones [ … ] would appear to over-complicate a process which has been working well to date, and which we believe already adequately covers the required information needed by Ofcom in order to enable it to fulfil its obligations with respect to UK satellite filings through the ITU.136

90.Philip Marnick from Ofcom, however, was adamant that its proposals were not “taking a tougher line than others”, and that Ofcom was “trying to make sure” it could “give fair access to the people who need it”.137 Results from Ofcom’s consultation were published on 30 March 2016, after we concluded taking oral evidence. In the case of the additional ‘milestones’ proposed, Ofcom stated that it took respondents’ concerns “very seriously” and would “only request deliverables that will be already and easily available to applicants pursuing a real satellite project”. Ofcom has also revised the text on the new milestones “to clarify what information [is required] and why”.138

91.We were reassured to hear that the relationship, and lines of communication, between Ofcom and the space and satellite sector are improving. We encourage the sector and the regulator to continue to work together to ensure that access to spectrum does not hinder the growth of the space and satellite sector.

65 Science and Technology Committee, Second Report of Session 2016–17, Digital Skills Crisis, HC 270

66 Q48 [Professor Remedios]

67 Copernicus is an Earth observation initiative, delivered by over 30 satellites, and headed by the European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).

68 Q41

69 Q41–42

70 Q197

71 Science and Technology Committee, Fourth Report of Session 2015–16, The big data dilemma, HC 468

72 Q191

73 Q191

74 Q191

75 Innovate UK (SAT0038) para 35

76 Q136; see also Q84

77 Q217

78 UKspace and techUK (SAT0020)

79 UK Space Agency (SAT0042) para 26

80 Satellite Applications Catapult (SAT0013)

81 Innovate UK (SAT0038) para 23

82 Inmarsat (SAT0037)

83 ibid

84 ibid

85 OneWeb (SAT0036)

87 Q135 [Patrick Wood]

88 ibid

89 Airbus Group UK (SAT0016)

90 Satellite Applications Catapult (SAT0013) para 9.2

91 Q174

92 Innovate UK (SAT0047)

93Government to invest £60m in world’s first air-breathing rocket engine”, Satellite Applications Catapult press release, 16 July 2013

94 Q125

95 Reaction Engines Limited (SAT0046)

96 ibid

97 Q162

98 Q163

99 ‘US Military Set to Unveil Concepts Based on Skylon Space Plane Tech’, 3 March 2016, last accessed on 19.04.16 at:

100 Speech to the UK Space Conference delivered by Rt Hon David Willetts MP, 16 July 2013

101 Q162

102 UKspace response to the Nurse Review of Research Councils call for evidence, April 2015

103 University of Oxford (SAT0010). The Research Councils referred to are the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

104 Q193

105 Q89 [Professor Barstow]; see also Q99 [Richard Peckham]

106 Q71 [Professor Remedios]

108 Ibid, p33

109 Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, Success as a Knowledge Economy: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice, Cm 9258, May 2016

110 Satellite Applications Catapult (SAT0013)

111 Q22

112 Q160 [Dr Parker]

113 Q194

114 UKspace and techUK (SAT0020)

115 Q109

116 Mullard Space Science Laboratory (SAT0034) para 3.1

117 Michael Johnson (SAT0007); see also Q143

118 Satellite Applications Catapult (SAT0013)

119 Q141

120 Q177

121 Q111–112

122 Q141 [Ross Marshall]

123 Q143

124 Q141 [Patrick Wood]

126 Q34

127 UKspace and techUK (SAT0020)

128 Q34

129 Q153 [Patrick Wood]

130 ‘Satellite filings’ refers to the process for obtaining internationally recognised orbital positions and frequency assignments for satellites.

131 Inmarsat (SAT0037) para 30; Airbus Group UK (SAT0016); ViaSat (SAT0009) para 4.1

132 O3b Limited (SAT0025)

133 Q37

134 Q51

135 Q52

136 Inmarsat response to Ofcom Consultation: Changes to the Procedures for Management of Satellite Filings, 2015

137 Q205

© Parliamentary copyright 2015

13 June 2016