16 May 2024

DSIT reviews UK's space regulation in new report

  • DSIT released a comprehensive report alongside the National Space Operations Centre inauguration, outlining seven key regulatory objectives.

  • The report stresses streamlined regulations, innovative frameworks for emerging tech, and progressive policies to spur investment and competition in the UK's space industry.

  • DSIT prioritizes sustainability, safety, and international partnerships to align regulatory frameworks and safeguard the space environment.

Today, DSIT published a groundbreaking report unveiling a comprehensive Space Regulatory Review, coinciding with the inauguration of the National Space Operations Centre. The report delineates seven priority regulatory objectives for fostering a conducive environment for space activities in the UK. Download the full report here

Highlights and recommendations

Here are the key outcomes and recommendations identified in the report:

  • Agility: The report emphasizes the need for a coordination across government departments and regulators ensures greater agility in adapting to emerging challenges and opportunities.

  • Innovation: To support novel and emerging missions and technologies, the report calls for a regulatory toolkit through sandboxes, testbeds, or other innovative approaches. Areas like artificial intelligence, future communications, and quantum technology are highlighted as priorities.

  • Growth: The report advocates for a progressive regulatory framework that encourages investment, healthy competition, and responsible practices. 

  • International Partnerships: Collaboration with other spacefaring nations is crucial. The report proposes a multilateral alliance with aligned regulatory frameworks and international best practices. 

  • Safety and Sustainability: Incentivizing sustainable space activities and protecting the space environment and celestial bodies are essential. 

  • Accessibility: The report calls for a coherent suite of primary and secondary space legislations, along with clear published guidance. 

  • National Interest: The civil and commercial space regulatory framework must also support UK national security.

By addressing these priorities, the UK aims to maintain its competitive edge in the global space market while fostering innovation and sustainability.

Safeguarding the radio frequency spectrum

With growing spectrum congestion and the exponential surge in data transmission globally, the demand for spectrum allocation is poised to escalate, requiring technological advancements that foster coexistence with other users. Propelling forward the new strategic vision and principles delineated for spectrum policy, the focus lies on setting structures to encourage innovation in spectrum utilization and administration to amplify its accessibility and value for the UK.

Collaborative efforts with Ofcom are imperative to align national spectrum licensing and orbital filing frameworks with the UK's strategy. It aims to position the nation as a frontrunner in space technology and services development and delivery. These frameworks, alongside broader policy landmarks and engagements with international standard-setting bodies and regulatory forums, constitute avenues through which sustainability and other strategic objectives in space can be advanced.

How to advance in orbit sustainability?

Key factors shaping the path forward encompass the implementation of a plan for space sustainability, aiming to establish standards in alignment with the Astra Carta initiative, positioning the UK as a global leader in collaboration with other spacefaring nations. Furthermore, advancing discussions around sustainability best practices and standards for space operators is essential to guarantee the UK's lrading role in commercial exploration of space, meawhile building the capacity to mitigate collision or interference risks. 

With the overarching goal of fostering economic growth, scientific innovation, global engagement, and national security, collaboration among industry bodies, financial experts, and insurers is crucial to optimize finance accessibility, risk analysis tools, and insurance products, particularly to overcome the challenges and secure the opportunities from the 'New Space' economy.

techUK has published an Emerging Space Technologies Industry Perspective Report

This explores the opportunities to be created by the growing commercialisation of space and unveils a blueprint for the UK to emerge as a leading force in the rapidly evolving industry.

You can read the full report here.

Navigating the Final Frontier: A Recap of the Space Commercialisation Summit

techUK hosted a range of industry experts, start-up companies and stakeholders to discuss the issues for the UK space sector. The result was a captivating debate around key challenges and drivers for the UK to become a worldwide reference 

You can see the keynotes' recording here.

Sophie Greaves

Sophie Greaves

Head of Telecoms and Spectrum Policy, techUK

Jaynesh Patel

Jaynesh Patel

Head of Telecoms and Spectrum Policy, techUK

Tales Gaspar

Tales Gaspar

Programme Manager, UK SPF and Satellite, techUK

Matthew Wild

Programme Assistant - Markets, techUK

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