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Shared space: defence, security, and a collaborative model for tomorrow's space industry


Jim Graham

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Space transcends traditional boundaries, and so should our efforts to succeed there. This report is designed to stimulate the thinking required to make this happen.

To capitalise on the growth of the space domain, and to deliver mutually-beneficial outcomes, defence and security organisations require genuine, trusted partnerships - and collective resolve.

No longer the sole domain of sovereign nations, today’s ‘NewSpace’
era is driven by an exponential rise in private engagement and investment. This is complicated by an increasing overlap between public and private operations in space. On the one hand, there’s the agility and innovation of cutting-edge private commercial enterprise. On the other hand, there are established public defence and security organisations, and their decades of operational experience in 'OldSpace’.  

Ultimately, both sectors have much to gain from each other. So, how can they work together for best effect?

The piece focuses on four key areas:

  • Knowledge-sharing - combining legacy and new knowledge to best effect
  • Financing - using public and private sector investment tools to pay for space success
  • Innovation - sharing innovation resources to achieve rapid progress safely
  • New partnership models - new ways of working together to extract the most value from the widest range of relevant participants, quickly and fairly

Working with specialists across QinetiQ, and external experts from the wider space industry, the report explores each of these areas, identifying the role of them in successful relationships that achieve defence and security objectives through public/private collaboration.

It concludes by offering a series of recommendations that can enhance space capabilities, both for those seeking to obtain a commercial advantage, and those seeking to use space-based assets to protect people on the ground.

As is often the case with science, technology and geopolitics - collaboration (…when done correctly) can move the world.

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