ESA is enabling and accelerating Space Commercialisation as part of its long-term plans for Europe, as outlined in ESA Agenda 2025.
In November 2022, the Agency will make proposals for ScaleUp at the ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, the first ESA programme intended to accompany end-to-end European entrepreneurs in their journey to scale up global space markets.
ScaleUp will support NewSpace developments by stimulating companies to take more risks, hit the market faster, attract private and institutional investors and introduce game-changing business innovation by providing external support to business development. This may include technical consultancy, access to facilities, in-orbit demonstration and validation opportunities, as well as support to access private investments via ESA Investor Network.
In 2021, private space investments in Europe amounted to just 5% of the European governmental spending, while at global level they already represent more than 15% of the institutional spending in space. ESA vision is to support the growth of private investment in space in Europe to at least triple their current volume by 2025. The global growth rate of private investments in space in the period 2017-2021 was +86% (compared to +14% of the overall European economy). The approximate value of the current global space economy is € 330 bln, with a forecast for 2040 of € 1 trillion. Considering those figures, in its Agenda 2025 ESA has made boosting commercialisation for a green and digital Europe one of its top five priorities.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAMME:
The programme is based upon two different “Elements”.
Element 1 (INNOVATE)
will help transforming great ideas into commercial realities, supporting the innovation process to develop space products or services upstream, in the space market, or downstream, for other industrial use. It is intended to develop new business for ESA Business Incubation Centres (BIC), foster disruptive innovation within network of Φ-labs (Φ-labNET), and promote technology transfer and patenting through the ESA Technology Brokers.
Element 2 (INVEST)
will allow companies to take more risks, hit the market faster and attract private and institutional investors by introducing game-changing business innovation through the establishment of ESA network of business accelerators and an ESA marketplace. ESA will act as an external support to business development as an enabler or a customer.
Each one of the two elements is then made up of different components, to address the specific needs of the companies interested in the programme.
UNIQUENESS OF THE PROGRAMME
This programme has several elements of uniqueness. First, it is domain independent, including both upstream and downstream. Then, it does not address Technology readiness levels (TRL) maturation but provides end-to-end business support to innovation. Finally, it offers to all ESA Directorates a platform to create new industrial players, explore new markets, and/or scale up promising companies emerging from their respective programmes.
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