Global Space Economic Forum: Space Creates Value

Global Space Economic Forum: Space Creates Value [Feb/2020]

ESA’s second Global Space Economic Forum (GSEF) was held in the framework of the New Space Economy Expoforum (NSE) in Rome on 11 December 2019.

More than 25 speakers from industry and institutions could exchange ideas on global challenges and innovation opportunities in areas such as cybersecurity, autonomous driving, urban innovation and maritime. The overarching theme chosen for this GSEF was ‘Space Creates Value’.

The GSEF aims at engaging executives of major space and non-space European stakeholders from institutional, academia and commercial sectors to explore potential synergies and take joint action to tackle shared challenges. During the event, ESA presented the industrial projects developed during the year.

Eric Morel de Westgaver, ESA Director of Industry Procurement and Legal Services, opened the event and welcomed on stage Gian Paolo Manzella, Italian Undersecretary for the Ministry of Economic Development, who underlined the importance of space activities to foster innovation, recalling the recent Ministerial Council at which Italy and the other ESA Member States renewed and reinforced their commitment to support space activities.

Eric Morel de Westgaver, Director of Industry, Procurement and Legal Services, ESA

The first panel discussion – ‘How to Integrate Space into Economy and Society’– presented the industrial projects from the Global Space Economic Workshop Events (GSEW) and involved the French and Italian Space Agencies, CNES and ASI, together with industry. The agencies and the companies explained how they are cooperating with ESA to develop new downstream projects generated by the discussions during the GSEW in Italy and France.

Panel Discussion

After the first round table, Johannes Gutleber from the Accelerator and Technology Sector Directorate Office of CERN presented his organisation’s work on the economics of science.

The morning session was closed by the presentation of the ESA_Labs working on Space Economy with Bocconi University, HEC Paris and Politecnico of Bari. An ESA_Lab is an agreement between ESA and academia to promote innovation in European space activities, to fully exploit the benefits of space-based systems to the European society and to nurture a skilled workforce, ultimately contributing to Europe’s overall knowledge base and competitiveness.

The afternoon session started with the ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti who presented the socio-economic impacts of human spaceflight.

Samantha Cristoforetti, Astronaut, ESA

The last panel brought together CTOs and Heads of innovation of four different companies coming from various industrial verticals to tackle open innovation challenges. The panel involved Enel Group, an Italian multinational energy company leading in the sectors of electricity generation and distribution, as well as in the distribution of natural gas, ArianeGroup, the world's first commercial launch service provider and leader in access to space in Europe, Leonardo Company, a multinational company specialising in aerospace, defence and security, and Ferrovie dello Stato, a state-owned holding company that manages infrastructure and services on the Italian rail network.

The event ended with the last two speeches: David Da Torre, working on the digitalisation of Darmstadt, presented the next challenges of the Smart Cities and how the space community could support the development of urban innovation.

Finally, Ray Power, CEO of Metalysis, officially kicked-off the ESA Metalysis Grand Challenge (visit this link to discover more about the Grand Challenge).

After this event, ESA in cooperation with Kedge Design School and CNES is glad to announce a new Global Space Economic Workshop @ France, which will take place in Marseille on 12 March 2020. The theme of the event will be “Habitat in Space”. Agenda and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. Please contact for further information about the participation.


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