Satellite Finance Network

With you every inch of the way

Finance and regulatory network for the UK space industry

Terms of Reference

1. Aim

The purpose of these Terms of Reference is to document the structure and founding principles on which the Satellite Finance Network (SFN) has been established.

The SFN is a network of individuals and organisations from the finance, legal, insurance, Government (including the UK Space Agency (UKSA) and UK Export Control) and space technology and applications communities, from start-ups and small companies to industry leaders, with a common interest in delivering satellite and satellite-enabled projects in the UK, delivering growth from such projects and in exporting across the world. The SFN capitalises on the nexus of these organisations in the UK.

The SFN aims to improve and encourage communication, collaboration and contact between such individuals and organisations in order to support the growth of the UK space industry at all levels through:

1. Facilitating and attracting investment:

  • Connecting industry players (particularly SMEs) with the financial community
  • Matching industry players with the right investors

2. Identifying regulatory barriers and other impediments to growth:

  • Working to create a “space friendly” and competitive regulatory environment for the UK
  • Offering solutions, where they exist, to industry players
  • Encouraging and supporting exporters in areas of finance and regulation

3. Promoting business opportunities between companies

2. Background

The Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS), published in 2010, was instrumental in shaping government space policy, including the UK's investment in the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Government's decision to facilitate the development of the UKSA. The primary objective of the IGS is to grow the UK space industry from a £9 billion turnover as at 2010 to £40 billion by 2030.

The SFN originated from two parallel streams of work during the IGS implementation, one on "Access to Finance", including topics such as government procurement mechanisms and export credit, and the other on "Regulation", looking at the regulatory environment for the satellite and space industry and the regulations and guidelines of both the UKSA and Ofcom. Both streams focused on economic growth: mechanisms to finance growth and encourage investment; and the identification and mitigation of regulatory and other barriers to growth. The SFN continues to pursue these objectives.

3. Scope and Membership

The membership of the SFN shall comprise of those individuals and representatives of organisations who wish to contribute to and pursue the development of the UK space industry, create a certain, attractive and competitive regulatory environment in which to conduct business and encourage investment across the space industry.

It is led by an Advisory Board, consisting of individuals from the industry and the investment, finance, insurance and legal communities, and a Chairman or Co-Chairmen.

These Terms of Reference shall be applicable to any individual or organisation which joins the SFN and agrees to participate in related activities. These Terms of Reference do not supersede any existing bilateral or multilateral agreements and/or ongoing projects of any other organisation.

The SFN shall hold and maintain a list of members and comply with related data protection laws.

Membership of the SFN can be terminated by any member at any time, provided no outstanding commitments to the SFN exist. Termination of membership where outstanding commitments exists is only possible if an agreement is reached as to how such commitments will be satisfied.

A member may be requested to leave the membership of the SFN at any time if such member is deemed, by a majority of the members of the Advisory Board, not to be acting reasonably in accordance with the principles of Section 3 of this Terms of Reference.

4. General Activities

The SFN will augment communication and coordination between members through:

  • (a) conferences and networking events;
  • (b) biannual email communications setting out, for example, regulatory issues and changes; the availability of Government grants and funding; and issues affecting the raising of finance in the industry; and
  • (c) a web site to aid networking and communications across the network and wider industry community.

An annual general meeting of members may also be held, as decided upon by the Advisory Board, which may be in conjunction with one of the biannual conferences and events.

Where appropriate the SFN will:

  • (a) coordinate comments from its members as to regulatory and other changes required in order to encourage investment in the UK space industry and allow UK individuals and entities the means to compete internationally without competitive disadvantage; and
  • (b) prepare related position papers and responses to consultations.
  • One of the aims of the SFN is to develop a strategic action plan, as agreed by the Advisory Board, which shall, but not exclusively, cover desired regulatory changes.

5. Structure

The structure of the SFN shall consist of:

  • (a) a Chairman / Co-Chairmen; and
  • (b) an Advisory Board.

An Advisory Board composed of members from the space industry, Government and finance, insurance and legal communities shall be appointed. The Advisory Board shall consist of no more than 12 members at any time.

The Advisory Board shall decide on the timing and content of the biannual meetings and the strategic action plan.

6. Finances

The Advisory Board shall have power to decide as to whether to charge a membership fee to cover basic administration costs only, and the holding of conferences.

The cost of attendance at meetings and events shall be borne by the individual members or institutions themselves.

7. Duration and Amendment of the Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference outlined here shall become effective on the 16 July 2013. The content of the Terms of Reference can and shall be amended by consensus of the Advisory Board, when the need arises. The Terms of Reference shall continue in effect for three years and if not altered in the meantime, shall be reviewed every three years from establishment.