The world space market is undergoing a deep transformation fuelled by the digitalisation of the economy and society. At the same time, many governments recognise the growing strategic importance of space.
We are now facing an unprecedented market situation with a wealth of opportunities but which is not without major risks for European industry and market players.
During ESA’s upcoming Ministerial Council (Space19+) meeting in Seville, Spain, Member States will subscribe funding for ESA’s programmes over a period of three years. ESA’s proposal is structured on four programmatic pillars: Science and Exploration, Safety and Security, Applications and Enabling and Support. All ESA activities fall under one or more pillars.
The vast majority of activities are implemented with a private partner. This implies co-funding from the respective partners as well as ESA, and therefore a sharing of risks.
ESA’s ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) programme is unique in Europe and aims to support the competitiveness of European and Canadian industry on the world market.
The programme has been very successful and several independent studies have demonstrated its socio-economic benefits, including a 15-fold direct financial return on the public funds invested in Partnership Projects.
The ARTES 4.0 proposal to Space19+ is based on a new programmatic framework, conceived to allow more flexibility and added value to ESA Member States collectively as well as more efficiency to industry. It maintains the DNA of the ARTES programme based on partnerships and support to the world competitiveness of European and Canadian industry, and is more flexible to adapt to the new marketplace.
The proposal introduces three Strategic Programme Lines which will gather activities and projects aimed at a common strategic goal:
- Space for 5G, which is a clear opportunity with a need from the market to support the digitalisation of businesses and society;
- Space Systems for Safety & Security, which is derived from the strategic importance and value that Member States see in space communications;
- Optical communication, which is the next technology frontier for the space-based communications of the future.
These complement the three current Generic Programme Lines, Core Competitiveness (CC) Partnership Projects (PP) and Business Applications and Space Solutions (BASS) which continue to offer support for the competitiveness of industry in the most efficient manner. They will allow ESA to address new technology and product/service developments, as well as large scale Partnership Projects federating European industry and de-risking partner investments to respond to market needs. They ensure that the programme is equipped to support all companies in upstream or downstream markets, whether they are start-ups, SMEs or large companies.
ESA will contribute with its technical expertise, business experience, and access to its networks and branding.
We would like to highlight the following programme elements:
- 5G flagship projects in several business sectors and European cities, in particular continuing Sunrise with OneWeb’s LEO megaconstellation;
- SAGA to demonstrate satellite performance to complement the European Commission's QCI (Quantum Communications Infrastructure);
- HYDRON to demonstrate a fibre-like optical network in orbit;
- Following the successful Neosat programme, a new Partnership Projects initiative named Novacom, (with the prime manufacturers to develop their flexible satellite products line) is being proposed;
- The ESA Business Incubation Centre network also joins the ARTES family as part of the above proposal, so that new companies can be supported from their earliest stages through to growth and expansion in the dynamically evolving space marketplace.