Westminster Business Forum

The UK space sector - developing the National Space Programme, priorities for Space19+, and the future for international collaboration

Morning, Thursday, 31st October 2019

Central London


This seminar will discuss the future for the UK space sector.

It takes place as the UK government prepares for Space19+, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Ministerial level Council meeting, which will set out the ESA’s priorities and funding for its future work.  

The conference will be an opportunity to discuss the sector’s priorities, particularly in the area of how the ESA’s funding scan best support the UK space sector.

The seminar also comes as industry and government work towards a National Space Programme, with ambitions for launch in April 2020, as part of a Sector Deal.

It also follows the Prosperity from Space strategy which sets out the sector and government priorities for earth observation, global connectivity, in-space robotics and access to space.

Sessions will consider how best proposed policy initiatives such as the National Space Programme, Sector Deal and the National Space Council can support the continued growth of the sector and what more needs to be done to reduce the skills gap, support access to finance and utilise the regulatory framework to enable the sector to grow.            

The discussion takes place as work continues on the development of spaceports within the UK and the Government announces new funding to support the development of horizontal spaceflight in the UK and up to £20m of funding to support domestic satellite launch capability.

Delegates will discuss what more the Government should do to support the funding, customer base and the delivery of infrastructure needed to enable the UK’s own launch capabilities.  

It comes with reports that Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourism venture is considering the UK amongst other international options for developing a spaceport.

Following the announcement that the UK Space Agency will work with the United States to enhance space weather forecasting, the agenda also discusses the UK’s future relationship with Europe and other key international space clusters and options for both ensuring UK companies can expand into other markets and are able to attract international investment and talent post-Brexit - and with the development of the UK’s own Global Satellite System following its withdrawal from Galileo still on the table.  

We also expect discussion on the Defence Space Strategy which is expected before the seminar, and is due to set out the Government plans to tackle emerging space-based threats to commercial and military satellites.

Delegates will discuss the feasibility of the plans set out in the strategy and the role that the MoD and other government and public bodies can play as an anchor customer to the industry to utilise government procurement as a leaver to support industry growth.       

Keynote Speaker

Chris Skidmore MP

Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

Keynote Speakers

Chris Skidmore MP

Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

Magali Vaissiere

Director, Telecommunications and Integrated Applications and Head, ECSAT, Harwell UK, European Space Agency


Graham Peters

Chairman, UKSpace; Chairman, Space Growth Partnership and Vice President, Space, ADS

Captain Dave Moody

Deputy Head of Space, Joint Forces Command, MoD

Professor Anu Ojha

Director, UK National Space Academy and Member, STFC Council

Joanne Wheeler

Managing Partner, Alden Legal

Glenn Caplin

Chief Executive, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP

Peter Mountney

Chief Executive Officer, Odin Vision

Nik Smith

Director, Lockheed Martin

Senior speaker confirmed from Inmarsat

Tim Just

Head of Space, Innovate UK