Italian Space Economy ready to take off: the report of the Politecnico di Milano Observatory

The Italian Space Economy is ready to take off: thanks to 2022 of consolidation, which saw the Earth Observation services market reach the value of 200 million euros with 144 active companies, further growth is expected for the whole supply chain in the coming years, with greater involvement of non-space companies that are starting to develop new products and solutions for space applications, as reported by the Ansa press agency.

The market analysis was carried out by the Space Economy Observatory of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano, presented at the conference ‘Italian New Space Economy on the launch pad’.

Space is confirmed as a central theme in the strategic choices of the leading global geopolitical powers, so much so that in 2022 global institutional expenditure for the sector exceeded 100 billion dollars.

The United States is in the lead, with 62 billion dollars in investments and a NASA budget of 24 billion dollars for 2022. Still, Europe’s commitment is also growing: between 2021 and 2027 the overall budget of Europe earmarked for the Space economy is 14.8 billion euros, the highest sum ever allocated by the EU for space.

As for new businesses, startups raised 8 billion euros in investments globally in 2022, a slowdown after the exploits of the previous two years (with almost 14 billion euros raised in 2021) due to geopolitical instability, the financial market crisis and the slowdown in SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) operations which were settled in February 2022.

On the international scene, Italy maintains a leading role above all in Earth Observation, also thanks to the creation of the new Sentinel satellites of the European Copernicus program.  Furthermore, will be added the future Italian constellation Iride, which will become the most important European low-altitude Earth Observation satellite space program, as underlined by Simonetta Cheli, director of Earth Observation programs at the European Space Agency (ESA). and head of the ESA Center in Italy, Esrin.

In Italy, in 2022, the Earth Observation services market reached a value of 200 million euros. There are 144 companies operating in the downstream segment (especially SMEs, 40% located in the North, 40% in the Centre, 20% in the South and on the islands) which offer Digital Innovation solutions and services based on satellite technologies and data for applications in the most varied sectors, such as agriculture and fishing, energy, construction and infrastructure, insurance and the environment.

Overall, the entire space supply chain is destined to grow, also thanks to the 7.2 billion that Italy has allocated up to 2026. The Space Economy “is a sector in full growth, an opportunity that should not be wasted “, underlines the ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano. According to Massimo Comparini, CEO of Thales Alenia Space Italia, there are conditions for further development of the industrial component along the entire value chain. The real problem will be to coordinate resources in the best possible way and find the necessary human capital, as observed by Mauro Piermaria, director of Programs and Strategies of the Office for Space and Aerospace Policies at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.