Upon taking up his new role as Chair of UKspace, John Hanley says there has never been a more important time than now for the space sector to address global challenges and provide a route to future prosperity for UK businesses and citizens.
Throughout my 25 years in the space sector, I have been amazed at how much space technology and space data has increasingly impacted the way society goes about its everyday life. We can, and must, maximise the benefits that come from space as we are facing global headwinds and increasing societal challenges. Images from space already help us to improve crop yields, secure green energy supplies, and better understand and mitigate our changing climate. Satellite communications and satellite navigation not only help us get where we want to go, they support our security and emergency services by allowing resilient ways to communicate in all domains.
But space does so much more for us. As a sector, we are providing highly productive and well-paid jobs – and increasing impact across the whole of the UK, with space clusters helping companies connect, collaborate and grow across the length and breadth of our country from Cornwall to the Shetland Isles. Space has always inspired young people – and our growing sector is turning that inspiration into well-paid jobs. There has never been a more important time than now to double-down on our support for the space economy – to address global challenges and provide a route to future prosperity for UK businesses and citizens.
Space is a global endeavour – and nationally we have punched above our weight. Much of our success has been built upon strong foundations of partnership working – not just across industry supply chains, but also with our world-class research base which underpins our future endeavours, and with Government as they set the policy and regulatory framework for space in both the civil and military domains.
Over the next two years, as we move towards the next Comprehensive Spending Review, I want us to build on this approach, and I am looking forward to UKspace playing its role in strengthening these partnerships and driving our future success. To do this, we must support the UK’s space industry – from start-ups to multi-nationals – to deliver services that enable innovation across many British industries, protect our national security and provide many more breakthroughs in scientific understanding.
I’m extremely proud to become the Chair of UKspace at this pivotal time, and my aim is to ensure the UK’s space industry has the support it needs to capitalise upon the ambitions set out in the National Space Strategy.