The UK’s space industry is pinning its hopes for future growth on a government sector deal, as Brexit threatens to cut it off from lucrative European Union contracts and R&D funding.
“The mood of the sector is that we are facing what we describe as headwinds,” Graham Peters, the chairman of trade association UKspace, told Research Fortnight.
The space industry—a priority for the government—needs continued access to funding such the EU’s Framework programmes for R&D and the creation of a “substantial” national space programme in order to grow, Peters said. Such a programme, which would fund R&D projects in partnership with industry, is expected to be part of a space sector deal. This package of incentives for the industry would follow similar deals for the life sciences, automotive and other industries.