Creating value [Oct/2019]
Creation of value means ESA shaping and setting the conditions for the future technological and market opportunities to drive sustainable growth. Creation of value means also the Agency contributing to activities that turn space research into successful European innovation stories, encouraging entrepreneurship and providing a framework that drives start-ups, the take-up of new businesses and job creation.
In Europe like in other regions, increasing expectations have emerged about space activities as enabler of economic growth, job creation and societal impacts. ESA stands at the forefront in the creation of the necessary conditions to unleash innovation which – in turn – fosters the competitiveness of the industrial ecosystem. The European space ecosystem is composed by Large System Integrators, SMEs, innovative start-ups, R&D institutions, Academia and private investment funds, all interacting together to create value and new market opportunities.
European Institutions are responsible for creating the right conditions for this space economy to flourish. Considering the stakes associated to new markets and abroad competition supported by public institutions, the role of the public sector can also include accompanying this fragile sector along each single step of the innovation path (from the invention to the market product, application or service), with vertical policies and tailored support measures. Public funded R&D has a key role to play in developing new technologies which potential is not yet understood by the business community. Public organisations can be nimble and innovative, transforming economies, proactively taking risks and harnessing the best of the private sector.
In line with this vision, the Agency is engaged to explore the full range of innovation governance models and policy tools that may be applied to further develop the economic footprint of the European Space Economy, and to draw inspirations and applicable lessons also from experience in other industrial sectors worldwide.
The Agency has already taken significant concrete steps to strengthen the growth of a sustainable European space ecosystem across the full spectrum of its activities, by developing its capability to:
- Attract additional sources of investments in complement to ESA Member States funding (e.g. industrial co-funding, European Investment Bank);
- Develop alternative funding measures (e.g. ESA Grand Challenge);
- Establish successful PPPs in the domain of telecommunications;
- Reinforce its PPP set-up competence with new risk-sharing scheme (e.g. Commercial Partnership Initiative for Exploration);
- Create links between new and emerging business sectors and the capabilities being developed in ESA programmes (e.g. ESA Downstream Gateway);
- Support the integration of space in other industrial sectors of the economy by creating an ecosystem of application developers open to non-space users (e.g. Business Applications); and
- Address non-traditional and non-space actors (e.g. Global Space Economy Workshops and Global Space Economy Forum).