Five organisations in the UK’s Space sector have agreed to form a Space Growth Partnership (hereinafter ‘SGP’) to accelerate growth, improve and secure the long-term health of the sector, promote actions to improve skills and diversity in the workforce and spread the benefits across the UK. The partnership currently comprises the UK Space Agency, UKspace Trade Association, Innovate UK, the Satellite Applications Catapult and the Department for International Trade. The SGP is governed by a Partnership Board that comprises senior representatives from each of these organisations, which meets monthly. In turn the Partnership Board reports to the Space Sector Council, which meets quarterly.
The Partnership Board is responsible for providing resources to the SGP such that it can function and deliver strategic benefits on behalf of the Sector. Each member of the partnership contributes resources either as secondments, funding or making employees work time available to the SGP at no cost to the partnership (or a combination of these elements). The SGP has created an SGP Programme, co-owned by all the SGP Partners,to manage the direct funding element.
The Agency is therefore looking to contract with an organisation to hold and disburse this SGP Programme funding as directed by the Partnership Board. The key functions envisaged by this organisation are:
• the competitive recruitment, appointment and remuneration of up to four staff to lead and deliver the day-to-day activities of the SGP.
• provision of activities to disseminate the work of the SGP effectively to a broad range of stakeholders.
• commissioning market, industrial and research analysis (whether from external organisations or SGP members) that takes forward the SGP tasks.
• the provision of specific research coordination activities on behalf of the Space Growth Partnership (including the cross-sector pilot studies to provide agreed R&D plans between the space sector and customer sectors).
• other budget management and funding activity as directed by the Partnership Board
The selected organisation will need to work on behalf of the sector by taking instructions from the Partnership Board and reporting on expenditure and deliverables to the same. We would envisage that the contract would run until 31st March 2020, with a provision to extend that to 31st March 2021 providing that is agreed by the SGP Partnership Board and the selected organisation by the 31st December 2019.
In addition to the normal project reporting required by the UK Space Agency to demonstrate the organisation selected is discharging its responsibilities to manage the SGP Programme in line with agreed expectations and on a transparent and accountable basis, the organisation will be required to brief the Partnership Board either verbally or in writing at monthly Partnership Board meetings.