[holding answer 18 September 2006]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport has the policy lead on Galileo.
The European Union (EU) and member states of the European Space Agency (ESA) jointly fund the development of Galileo. To date the UK’s subscription to the ESA element of the programme has been €142 million. The last tranche of payment was €4.15 million.
The EU’s contribution to the design and development phase of Galileo is made from the EC budget and is estimated by the Commission to be €790 million. The UK’s contribution to the EC budget is around 17 per cent. of the total, before the UK receives any abatement.
About 15 UK companies are already involved in Galileo—providing hardware, software, management and operations expertise. Industry estimates in 2005 indicated that about 500 UK Galileo-related jobs had been created in the upstream sector since the start of the Development Phase. If the project develops successfully, and depending on the sourcing decisions made by the European Space Industry involved in Galileo, I would expect more to be created in downstream sectors.