Westminster Business Forum

Next steps for the UK space industry - growth, innovation and priorities post-Brexit

Morning, Friday, 15th February 2019

Central London


This conference focuses on the next steps for the UK space sector as the industry sets out its vision for growth, and in the context of a possible sector deal.

Delegates will assess the infrastructure, technology and investment that will be required to drive innovation, and support the development of commercial spaceflight, following the Space Industry Act which provides the regulatory framework to enable the UK’s launch capability.

It follows the Government’s decision to no longer seek access to the secure aspects of Galileo as it seeks to build its own Global Navigation Satellite System and in the backdrop of Brexit and increasing European competition, delegates will also consider what is needed in policy terms - and from the sector itself - to enable the UK to become a global space hub and a European leader for space services.

With the UK Space Growth Partnership’s Prosperity from Space Strategy laying the foundation for a space sector deal and national space programme, delegates will also discuss what will be needed to achieve its vision of significant growth in exports and inward investment as part of a £500bn boost to the economy.

The Strategy highlights the potential for growing a diverse workforce and attracting young people to STEM careers. We expect discussion on the practical steps for the industry and its partners to tackle the skills gap whilst continuing to attract international talent, and improving diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

The agenda looks at the future shape of partnerships to enable development of UK spaceports, as well as the wider economic and environmental impact on local communities as they seek to develop clusters in spaceport locations following the Government awarding funding to the four potential spaceports.

Further sessions focus on international cooperation and the UK’s position in the global space market and following the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Australia on exchange of talent and technology.

Delegates will also consider the regulatory framework for UK space, following the introduction of the Traffic Light System which aims to streamline the licensing processes for satellite operators, considering what else is needed from regulators and policymakers to develop a safe but efficient regulatory regime in light of changing technological and commercial trends.    

Guests of Honour

Tim Just

Head of Space, Innovate UK

Catherine Mealing-Jones

Director, Growth, UK Space Agency

Guests of Honour

Tim Just

Head of Space, Innovate UK

Catherine Mealing-Jones

Director, Growth, UK Space Agency

Keynote Speaker

Senior speaker confirmed from Ofcom


Paul Adams

Head of Aerospace, Defence and Security, Vendigital

Jo Stevens

Managing Director, Oxford Innovation

Dr Gbenga Odunta

Reader, International Commercial Law, University of Kent

Adina Gillespie

Institutional Strategist, Earth-i

Nick Appleyard

Head of Downstream Business Applications, European Space Agency

Professor Anu Ojha

Director, National Space Academy and Professor, University of Leicester

David Oxley

Acting Director of Business and Sector Development, Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Patrick Wood

Director, International Advanced Programmes, UK Country Executive, Lockheed Martin