14/07/20214 Minutes

The UK Space Landscape: A Force for Disruptive Change

In discussing the UK space landscape this moderator-led discussion was advantaged in featuring contributing panellists who are all for different reasons at the cutting-edge of the country’s accelerating space industry advances. A UK Member of the United Kingdom Parliament and Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee; the Chief of Government, Regulatory & Engagement with OneWeb; the Lead for Future Transformative Programmes at the Satellite Applications Catapult; and, the CEO of SatelliteVu, comprised a formidable team in conveying how the United Kingdom is now leveraging on its long history in space-related activity and is now building into a key global centre for a wide range of space business opportunities.

Moderated by Nick Flitterman, Managing Partner with Portland Advisers, this webinar provided a global audience with a detailed analysis of the newly emergent opportunities following on from the just released, and first ever, UK Government National Space Strategy, a document laying out Government plans, in the words of the UK Prime Minister, to put the UK in the “front rank of the global space industry”. The panel explored the Strategy in more detail, with panellists’ views including an analysis from the perspective of one of the parliamentarians whose job it is to hold the Government to account.

The additional perspectives from the points of view of a LEO megaconstellation with British government investment, of an organisation bringing together industry and academia to promote capability innovation in the UK’s satellite technologies, and a start-up Earth observation company focused on high resolution thermal imagery, provided much food for thought and continuing dialogue at a time when the global space and satellite business environment is rapidly expanding, an expansion to which the UK will be an increasing contributor.

If you missed the live webinar, and the many moderator and audience questions, you can still join in the dialogue by watching the recording here. Here you can also see our panellists’ written responses to questions that 60-minutes did not allow us time to cover.

Q & A continued….

The following question was posed through the chat function during the panel but we ran out of time to respond in the live programme. Thank you to our audience for taking an active part by asking questions, and to our panellists for their time to answer them after the webinar ended…

1. Despite the promising number of talented people getting recruited every year, I often read and hear from the aerospace industry, that there’s a lack of skillset, experience and technical knowledge. What should university students do to be considered helpful enough to help shape the UK space industry further one day?

Chris McLaughlin (OneWeb): Co-ordination should start from first principles. “ Who has ITU priority in the Master register?” The answer is OneWeb and that should be the starting and end point of all co-ordination. Not really my skillset but OneWeb HR team are always keen to hear from young talent.

Gary Wade (Satellite Applications Catapult): In the UK space industry there is always need for more great talent with fresh ideas. Hopefully with the UK government and the global focus on new space we will see more people following relevant technical disciplines – not just in aerospace.

The Satellite Application Catapult does offer Spintern placements which are a 3 month short internship programme. We are also currently shaping up a programme for full internships that will be 12-18 months and have our regional centres that are working closer with universities around the country.