Press release

£1.5 billion space export campaign to fuel British industry growth

International Trade Secretary launches the Department for International Trade's first ever space exports campaign to target export opportunities in the US and India.

Picture of the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox speaking to the UK Space Agency at Farnborough.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox speaks to the UK Space Agency at Farnborough.

The ‘Space Exports’ campaign will see 2 of the world’s fastest growing markets targeted with trade missions, led by newly appointed Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner Antony Philipson. In India the Department for International Trade (DIT) will also increase its operation by recruiting British space sector experts to work in market.

The campaign comes as 40% of the entire globe’s small satellites are built in the UK, highlighting the huge capability in country. The International Trade Secretary will use the opportunity of leaving the European Union to make the most of global engagement with a sector that is growing 15 times faster than the rest of the UK economy.

The UK space industry’s growth has been quick, doubling in size since 2010, with exports growing to £5 billion in 2014/15, or 36.4% of total income. The campaign will seek to increase the number of nations that are using the specialist products British businesses produce ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, said:

Our space industry is thriving as years of strong growth has seen the UK secure its reputation as a leading space nation.

To sustain this, we need to be reaching new markets with huge potential like India and the USA. As an international economic department, we’ll achieve this through our new space exports programme, which will help meet the ambition of both government and industry to see space turnover reach £40 billion by 2030.

With over a third of its business coming through overseas sales, the space sector is a great example of the benefits of seizing global opportunities which in turn create jobs back home.

Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner to North America, Antony Phillipson, said:

The space sector in the US presents tremendous opportunities for high-quality British goods and services. We are both nations with a rich heritage in space technology.

Through the UK government’s extensive and expert trade and investment network, British business will be well-placed to make a major contributions to jobs, just as US firms will be in the UK. Together we can boost jobs and economic growth in both countries.

Graham Peters, Chair of UK Space said:

The UK has a proud history of leveraging its space expertise to become a leader in commercial aspects of space. We are delighted to be working with government to promote UK capabilities overseas to underpin the continued growth of the sector.

Dr Jaime Reed Industry Co-Chair of the Space Growth Partnership’s Space Exports Group said:

Industry and DIT have been working closely to build a solid evidence base demonstrating the potential for significant new UK business in major global markets. It’s fantastic to see the government committing to growth through these new announcements.

The government is engaging with the sector to determine how best to create a sector deal with them that drives forward the modern Industrial Strategy. Low cost access to space is an important part of this, and there have been significant steps taken this week to enable small satellite launch from UK soil for the first time.

Case study

The space sector is not the only one that can benefit from expansion into the US and India. The UK’s aerospace companies carry a strong reputation around the globe and this has been exemplified by Derby-based Pattonair, who last week announced that they would expand their manufacturing operation to Bangalore.

By opening their factory in Bangalore, Pattonair are aiming to tailor their supply chain services to customers in the region. When the new facility opens it will be the latest in a succession of British based companies in the city, with Airbus and Rolls-Royce also operating there.

Further information

The government working with industry has a shared ambition to grow the sector to £40 billion by 2030 (10% of the forecast global market).

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Published 19 July 2018