What is the Space Economy?

What is the Space Economy? [Oct/2019]

The Space Economy is defined by OECD as the full range of activities and the use of resources that create value and benefits to human beings in the course of exploring, researching, understanding, managing, and utilising space.[1]

The Space Economy is growing and evolving, together with the development and profound transformation of the space sector and the further integration of space into society and economy. Today, the deployed space infrastructure makes the development of new services possible, which in turn enables new applications, in sectors such as meteorology, energy, telecommunications, insurance, transport, maritime, aviation and urban development leading to additional economic and societal benefits. The space sector is not only a growth sector itself, but is the vital enabler of growth in other sectors.

This dynamics led some analysts to declare that the space industry could become the next trillion-dollar industry by 2040.  The main current trends which are impacting the Space Economy include:

  • A still increasing public interest and investment in space activities worldwide;
  • An unprecedented level of private investment in space ventures, linked to a higher attractiveness and expected profitability and a growing Venture Capital (VC) market;
  • An ever increasing number of actors;
  • Still growing space industry revenues;
  • The further development of commercial activities worldwide, including ones based on smallsats/cubesats, and the development of commercial activities in new fields, e.g. micro-launchers and space flight;
  • A traditional space industry, still generating the main share of revenues, but facing more competitive and uncertain markets;
  • The further development of the New Space worldwide; and
  • The further integration of space into the society and economy leading to more value creation and more socio-economic benefits.


[1] OECD Handbook on Measuring the Space Economy 2012

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