Introduction

The joint industry and Government led Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS) was published in February 2010. The IGS outlined a 20 year vision for the future growth of the UK space sector and contained 16 recommendations aimed at sustaining the high level of growth in this area.

Industry and the UK Space Agency have launched a “Restack” of the strategy with the aim of refreshing the recommendations substantially to ensure continued and sustainable growth. As part of the Space IGS Restack strategy nine themes have been identified. CMS is leading the work on Theme 6 covering the regulatory framework and is co-leading Theme 5, along with Avanti plc, covering investment and finance.

Theme 6

Theme 6 looks at how to “Create the most competitive regulatory environment for space” business through a review of current regulation, legislation, policy and government practices to identify barriers to:

  1. starting up a business in the UK space industry;
  2. investing in a business in the UK space industry; and
  3. developing and growing an already established business in the UK space industry.

CMS, as team leader of the IGS Restack Regulatory Working Group (comprising of members from the industry and Government), has developed a consultation to seek the views of the industry and interested parties in order to identify such barriers. The consultation document covers a broad range of regulatory and policy topics.

This consultation provides a rare opportunity for the space community to raise regulatory issues, indicate the support it requires and influence the strategic direction taken by the Government.

Theme 5

Theme 5 looks at “How to attract more investment to support the growth of the UK space industry”.

The objective is to identify, in particular, what measures can be taken to make equity or debt investment available for small companies to support their growth given the specific challenges in the space industry presented by technology risks and the relatively long lead times before commercialisation. It is therefore important that the views of interested parties are obtained and formulated into practical recommendations that could be implemented within a reasonable timescale.

CMS, in collaboration with Avanti plc, has developed and circulated a consultation to identify the key issues and propose solutions. The consultation presents an opportunity for companies and providers of capital and financial advisers to set out their views and make suggestions.

Next Steps

In terms of next steps, the key stages can be summarised as follows:

  • the collation and preparation of a summary of the responses to the consultations;
  • reporting emerging findings to the IGS Steering Board chaired by Andy Green;
  • the preparation of a report on the findings and draft recommendations sign-off by the IGS Steering Board;
  • the announcement of certain recommendations at the UK Space Conference in Glasgow on 16/17 July 2013; and
  • consultation by the UK Government on the key recommendations in Autumn 2013, prior to the formal announcement of key measures and their implementation.

The Restack represents an important opportunity for the space community to come together to set out its views in a way that has maximum impact with Ministers and senior industry members. It provides an opportunity to influence the Government on the strategic direction and support required to ensure the continued development of the UK space industry. The feedback will be used to identify key concerns and recommendations that will inform the Government’s direction on both regulatory and financial policy decisions in this industry.

We would encourage all interested parties to respond to these consultations by the closing date of 5.30pm on 10 May 2013 by following the links below:

Theme 5 - https://www.surveymk.com/s/theme5

Theme 6 - https://www.surveymk.com/s/theme6