Says Turnover Has Nearly Doubled
The space and satellite
telecommunications industry in the United Kingdom has seen its
turnover nearly double in the last seven years and looks set to
continue to grow strongly, Science and Innovation Minister Ian
Pearson told a major international gathering in Glasgow on
The UK space industry continues to show strong growth, with the
sector growing by nearly 8 percent in 2006/07 and an overall
turnover of £5.8 billion ($10.4 billion US), a new report has
The Size and Health of the UK Space Industry 2008 report shows
that services continue to be the dominant sector in terms of both
overall size (85 percent and worth £5 billion) and growth (8
The report also reveals that total employment in the UK space
industry stands at nearly 19,000, with over 1,600 new jobs created
in 2006/07. Of the total, more than 5,800 jobs in the systems
sector are amongst the most highly skilled in the UK economy, with
60 per cent of staff holding a first degree and one third of these
also having a second degree.
Pearson said the British government recognized the importance of
the space industry.
"Space is increasingly important in all our lives," he told
attendees at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC).
"Satellite communications have made the massive growth in digital
TV, global monitoring telephony, internet traffic and other
broadband services possible. They play a vital role in
understanding how our climate is changing. The space industry makes
a significant contribution to the UK economy. By its very nature
it's highly innovative and is one of the highest value adding
sectors. It will play a significant part in driving forward the
UK's future knowledge economy.
"The UK should be proud of its world leading capabilities in
telecommunications and small satellites," he added. "Achievements
this year include the completion of the Skynet 5 constellation
built by Astrium and the launch of five RapidEye satellites based
on the Surrey Satellite Technology Limited platform. Alphasat,
being built in Britain, is set to bring affordable communications
to the developing world."
The theme of this year's 59th IAC, last held in the UK in 1987,
is 'From Imagination To Reality.' The event is being held at the
Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, and opens to the public
from 4:00 pm on Wednesday, October 1 through Friday, October 3 at