India, UK forge partnership to expand space and nuclear collaboration


The United Kingdom and India are set to join forces in a new era of space and nuclear collaboration, announced George Freeman, UK Minister for Science, Research, and Innovation.
Starting with Leicester space park, the countries plan to unite their space clusters to cultivate their space economy and facilitate skill development for upcoming scientists. Freeman stated that the strategic partnership aims to blend the expertise of Indian and UK researchers and innovators in a thriving commercial space economy.
The minister also disclosed that the countries are exploring the possibilities of leveraging Lower Earth Observation orbits and improving the regulation of satellite communications. Furthermore, both nations have shown an interest in nuclear energy, hoping to jointly work on nuclear fission and fusion.
“We seek to grow not a vertically integrated, closed space economy, but an open commercial global one,” said Freeman, who was in Mumbai last week for a meeting of G20 science ministers. The minister also met his Indian counterpart, Jitendra Singh, during his visit.
Freeman emphasised the UK’s commitment to investing in its space clusters distributed across the nation, remarking that the UK had passed the Space Act, becoming the first European nation to launch and set a regulatory framework for space.
In a promising move, the nations plan to expedite the development of these ideas so that Prime Ministers Rishi Sunak and Narendra Modi can announce a comprehensive package of initiatives later this year. Freeman also revealed ongoing discussions about joint initiatives in future telecoms, satellite communications, artificial intelligence, and 5G, where both countries share strategic interests and potential for significant synergy.
Viewing India as a rising power in the global economy and an influencer in tech adoption and regulation, Freeman pointed out the importance of cooperative work on key technologies for global security.
Reflecting on India’s rapidly growing innovation economy, the minister concluded, “With the scale of growth and digital technologies, UK and India are poised for a very, very exciting few years in the next decade.”