The UK Space Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space. The UK Space Agency was launched officially on 23 March 2010 and became a full executive agency of BIS on 1 April 2011. On this date the responsibility for all space activities was transferred from a number of bodies, including government departments, Research Councils and non-departmental public bodies. The Agency therefore became responsible for the whole of the UK space activities. The UK Space Agency also interfaces with other departments on security and military programmes. Although it does not manage these programmes directly, the UK Space Agency is kept informed and involved in decisions relating to the programmes as necessary. To meet national needs, the UK Space Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. The UK Space Agency therefore leads the UK's civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens. The agency works to maximise UK benefits from space activities and to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of global scientific excellence as well as in the exploitation of space infrastructure, products and services. The agency encourages interaction between industry and academia. The UK Space Agency is responsible for managing the UK-ESA relationship, as well as the UK-EU relationship in Space activities, including acting as UK delegates to the H2020 Space Programme Committee.
The UK Space Agency engages with the entire UK space community in national strategic roadmapping initiatives. A major strength of the UKSA is its broad view of national and European interests and experience in consultation, roadmapping, prioritisation, and management of development grants and programmes. Whilst strong space system level technical expertise exists in UKSA, the agency also has the ability to draw on the significant Electric Propulsion expertise residing in the UK academic, industrial and consultancy community. The UKSA regularly attends UK Propulsion Working Group meetings to interact with UK propulsion experts, including Electric Propulsion.