The Space Economy Initiative

Supporting healthy, responsible, and sustainable growth of the global space economy.

Update: Registration is now open for the next webinar (July 6)  here. Scroll down to 'Next Session' for more details about the event.

The global space sector is thriving. Over 65 countries have operated at least one satellite. Political and economic capital being invested in the space environment by governments and commercial entities is at record levels.

With an increasing number of public and private actors involved in the development and provision of space infrastructure and related products and services, the global space economy has been a consistent source of growth, exceeding $400 billion for the first time in 2018.

Space economy has featured regularly in the work of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). It is a term to capture the economic benefits of a dynamic space sector and the role space can play in prosperous socio-economic development.

While most space economy activities originate from space-faring countries, emerging space-faring nations do not benefit as much as they could from this area. By leveraging on its experience supporting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, UNOOSA works to bring the international space community together in support of emerging space-faring nations to take part in the global space economy responsibly and sustainably.

As we look to the future, with many countries considering how to 'build back better', it is clear that healthy, dynamic space economies can play a huge role in accelerating sustainable socio-economic development. 

The Space Economy initiative unpacks this complex topic, breaking down the issue to core elements, providing a road map on how to build a strong space economy that delivers tangible socio-economic benefits. 

Space Economy Webinar Series

A series of webinars focused on the "Space Economy" explores these issues in more detail. Throughout the series, we draw on public and private-sector experts to help us unpack how different countries are strengthening their respective space sectors. Across the series, we focus on the most fundamental elements of a healthy, responsible, and sustainable space economy.

The webinar series provides a platform to share insights from commercial space entities on how to go from the 'start-up' phase to being well-established. Further, we also look at financing space activities, exploring success stories on how mixed public-private funding models are helping space economies thrive. The series touches upon the nexus between government, industry and academia, and how to leverage this nexus to maximise innovation and growth in the space economy.

Finally, we also look at what this all means outside the immediate domestic context and the link between growing space economies at the national level and supporting responsible and sustainable space activities at the international level.

All these considerations are taken in the context of current global developments, including with regards to how space economies can play a key role in responses to COVID-19 and supporting socio-economic development as countries seek to 'build-back-better'.

Next Webinar: Making the Case for Space

After the kick-off webinar, we now shift from a general overview to start breaking down this complex concept block by block. Join us, on July 6 (15:00 - 16:00 CET) as we focus on ' Making the Case for Space'. We will bring space economy experts from the international community to provide insights on how they building the foundations of space economic growth by generating policy and public support for space. During the session, we will also explore how to secure that initial commercial investment and support as well to get a space economy up and running.  

We will continue to focus on practical examples, insights and success stories on how strong space economies are being built and how to maximise the social and economic returns of such an investment.

The agenda for the session, including details about the speakers, can be found here.

To register for the 'Making the Case for Space' session on July 6, please click here, registration is limited to 250.

Past sessions

The first webinar "Introducing the Space Economy" on June 15, 2020, gathered representatives from the UAE Space Agency, GISTDA, Thailand, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy, PricewaterhouseCoopers' Space Practice, Paris, France, Astroscale, Japan and UNOOSA's Space Applications Section. This kick-off event introduced the space economy topic and looked forward to topic-specific follow up webinars.

The Summary Report of the insights shared during the webinar can be downloaded here.

The Recording of the Kick-Off Webinar is on UNOOSA's YouTube channel here and the Agenda for the session can be found here.  

Slides used by the Experts during the kick-off webinar, are available for download on the links below :

Mr Andrea Sommariva, SDA Bocconi

Mr Naser Al Rashedi, UAE Space Agency

Ms Nathalie Ricard, UNOOSA

Mr Chris Blackerby, Astroscale

Mr Damrongrit Niammuad, GISTDA

Mr Luigi Scatteia, PwC

Future Sessions   

  • July 24  -   How to Scale-Up: Success stories, from scale-up to established phase.
  • August 5 -    Access to Finance: Building a sustainable financial system for space economies.
  • August 24 -    International Cooperation: International normative frameworks in domestic contexts, responsible and sustainable growth.
  • September 9 -    Innovation and Growth: Government, Industry and Academia working together to grow your space economy. 
  • September 23 -    Building Back Better: How a healthy space economy can support post-COVID 19 recoveries.

All scheduled at 15:00 - 16:00 CET

Supporting the Space Economy Initiative

The Space Economy Initiative supports healthy space economies, in both theory and practice. Going forward UNOOSA is compiling a Handbook of insights, success stories and examples of space economy growth in practice. The Handbook will cover the core elements of building a healthy, sustainable and dynamic space economy and will guide UNOOSA's future activities in this area.

The Space Economy Initiative is funded entirely through the generous contributions from our stakeholders. Donor support is crucial to realizing the initiative going forward.

We are actively fundraising to support the start of UNOOSA advisory services to Member States on space economy matters from 2021. If you're interested in supporting the global growth of responsible, sustainable and dynamic space economies, that accelerate sustainable socio-economic development, then please get in touch.

  • Veronica Cesco, Associate Programme Officer, UNOOSA  veronica.cesco (at) un.org
  • Ian Freeman, Associate Programme Officer, UNOOSA ian.freeman (at) un.org 

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