About the Space Policy Unit
Launched on 23 April 2019 by the US Secretary of the Air Force, Hon Heather Wilson, and UK Science Minister Chris Skidmore, Policy Exchange’s new Space Policy Unit is the first of its kind at any UK think tank. Its mission is to champion a comprehensive development of UK “space power” as a critical component of the UK national interest in the 21st century. Our goal is to help lift Britain’s space ambitions to the next level, and help build a strong, exciting vision for UK in space that can be taken up by Government and Parliament in the years ahead.
There is a significant disconnect between Britain’s current global standing as a P5 and G7 military (including cyber) and economic power and its comparatively limited sovereign capabilities (and public investment) in space. Our Space Policy Unit will take a 360-degree approach to this challenge. Apart from the cornerstone aspects of space defence and security, our work programme will also consider the economic/industrial policy requirements for building a strong national space programme, exploring the way Britain can best contribute to the shaping of international norms in space and use its evolving space power in support of its global interests and those of its allies.
The new Unit is led by Gabriel Elefteriu, Policy Exchange’s Head of Space Policy, and looks to engage with partners from across industry, government, academia and the not-for-profit sector. Read more about our approach in Gabriel’s op-ed in The Times here.
Space professionals in the UK have been let down by governments who fail to grasp the importance of space. This has to change.
Linking space power with offensive capabilities reflects wider trends in global strategic affairs.
Policy Exchange’s senior defence fellow, Gabriel Elefteriu, reflects on the Government’s decision to build a spaceport in Scotland. He argues the decision is an important step on on the UK’s journey to become a leader in space industry.
The UK should consider setting up a new Space Council “along the same lines as the USA”, according to Chris Skidmore, Science Minister, in order to help create a “joined up government policy towards space”.
- Tuesday, 16 July, 2019
13:30 - 14:30
A keynote speech by Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. Followed by a panel on ‘Space Policy: What do we want from the next Prime Minister’ with, Lucy Edge, COO and Executive Director, Satellite Applications Catapult, David Morris MP, Chair, Parliamentary Space Committee, Graham Peters, Chair, UKSpace, Rt. Hon. Lord Willetts, Former Minister for Universities and Science, and Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive, UK Space Agency
- Tuesday, 23 April, 2019
11:00 - 12:30
The launch of our new Space Policy Unit and a discussion on the role of space power in the 21st century with Heather Wilson, US Secretary of the Air Force
- Wednesday, 9 May, 2018
12:30 - 14:00
The Government has chosen the space industry as one of the first six key challenges to be targeted by the new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, with £100 million of funding for a new National Satellite Testing Facility. At the same time, the Government has launched a new series of grants to support the development of new spaceports, while the Space Industry Act aims to reduce regulatory barriers to commercial spaceflight.