Value created by ESA Science Programme

Value created by ESA Science Programme [Apr/2020]

In preparation of Space19+ and to inform decision-makers on the impact of their investment on the European economy and society, ESA conducted several studies to assess the socio-economic impact of its programmes.

One of these assessments evaluates the socio-economic impacts produced by ESA’s Science Programme. The study further extends results from previous analyses conducted by ESA, with ex-ante and ex-post assessments of the socio-economic benefits generated by a set of eight ESA scientific missions: XMM-Newton, Rosetta, SOHO, JUICE, ARIEL, SMILE as well as ESA’s participation to Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The set of missions was defined in order to cover various mission profiles, both launched and upcoming, and to keep a realistic scope for the assessment.

Critical information was collected through desk research, an extensive stakeholder consultation, bibliometric analysis and economic modelling.

The development of cutting-edge space science missions is one of ESA’s cornerstone activities. Within the different programmatic activities of ESA, Science holds a particular place, with the objective to contribute to knowledge creation and enhance the understanding of the Universe.

The socio-economic impact assessment was performed evaluating, for each of the eight missions, the externalities generated across four impact categories:

  • Scientific impacts, since it constitutes a specific and crucial objective of scientific missions;
  • Strategic impacts, from the point of view of ESA and the European actors involved in the missions;
  • Social impacts, evaluating the effects on public awareness, education, and the Earth environment; and
  • Economic impacts, considering both micro- and macro-economic results.

With regards to the economic impacts, the study estimates that ESA’s investment in the above-mentioned missions resulted in a 1.6 GDP multiplier and a 2.1 employment multiplier over the total time span of the missions (from 1984 up to 2036), both values being in the mid- to high-range when compared to other space programmes. Results show an attractive economic stimulation for ESA Member States’ industries participating in such missions.

This study was conducted by PwC in partnership with Cambridge Econometrics, Science-Metrics and Planetek Hellas and was completed in May 2019. To access the document please click here or login to access the restricted area.

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