I have tasked the UK Space Agency to provide policy support to Ministers on civil space issues and to lead a civil space programme which delivers maximum economic, scientific, and policy benefits for the UK.
I have set the UK Space Agency the following key targets for 2012-13:
1. To advise BIS on affordable options for UK participation in the ESA in readiness for the ESA Ministerial planned for November 2012, setting out the advantages and disadvantages of the options.
2. To ensure the ESA programme brings benefit to UK industry, and the research base.
3. To implement the proposal for the £21 million investment in the low-cost constellation of operational small radar satellites (NovaSAR).
4. To work with industry on amendments to reduce burdens placed on satellite operators, and based on the public consultation, set out a timeline to implement agreed proposals for change to the Outer Space Act.
5. To improve performance of the agency by implementing 2011-12 audit recommendations over the period 2012-13—2014-15.
Target measurement techniques:
Target 1—Decisions made on investment proposed by November 2012. This will need both BIS and HMT agreement.
Target 2—Measured by the industrial return figures of ESA that reflect the work won by UK organisations against an ideal of return coefficient of 1.
Target 3—A decision on the grant will be by June 2012, payment by March 2013, with the grant review open for the normal 5-year window.
Target 4—Consultation released in May 2012 and final plan by December 2012.
Target 5—Improvement in agency performance will be reflected in audit reports in 2012-13 and 2013-14.