Will UK space agency announcement see £20 million for industry?

by | Mar 19, 2010 | Seradata News | 2 comments

Hyperbola is guessing that the reformed British National Space Centre that is getting no more money and has the pleasure of being based in Swindon is to be called UK Space Agency and not the James Bond-like Her Majesty’s Space Agency that has been touted by space minister Lord Paul Drayson of Kensington. This is what appeared in my inbox this morning or more accurately at 22:23h GMT last night…

Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills and Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Drayson invite you to the launch of the new executive space agency for the UK and the publication of the Government response to the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy.

The event will be held at 10.45am on Tuesday 23rd March at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE, London. 

I see that blogger rocketeers.co.uk got his invite yesterday morning, sheer favouritism clearly. The invite email also says

At the event Government will also be responding to the Innovation and Growth Strategy Report.

The big question is, will that response see the government stump up the £20 million the 10 February published Innovation and Growth Team Strategy report recommended? The report followed the 10 December 2009 Drayson announcement at the 5th Appleton space conference – speakers presentations are available but not the promised audio – of the intention to create a space agency

This blog is guessing that the government will come up with the £20 million, for a “national space technology” programme run through the Technology Strategy Board most likely

This blog comes to that conclusion, partly because a cabinet minister such as Lord Mandelson (a very significant figure in the governing Labour party’s firmament) would not attend if there wasn’t something serious to announce and also because in about two weeks time everyone in the UK is expecting a general election to be called – and the Labour party is unlikely to win but only just

So what we are probably really seeing is an announcement about “investing in the UK’s technolgoical future” that will be used by the Labour party to bash an electorally weak post election non-Labour government if it tries to cut the funds, to tackle the UK’s enormous national debt. Not that this blogger is a cynical old journalist…

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