Skip to main content


Emerging space economies: next steps towards prosperity (WP1346)


With support from the Secure World Foundation.

One of the only industries to have emerged from the financial crisis unscathed, the space industry is viewed as integral to a digital global economy. This conference brought together experts from developed and emerging spacefaring states to debate the role of space technology in economic development, focusing on how to take next steps towards prosperity.

Acknowledging the reality of an increasingly globalised space industry and highlighting the positive prospects increased engagement will generate, participants discussed opportunities and challenges in applying space technology to a range of areas which feed into economic development. Emphasis was placed on opportunities for research collaboration and how to translate data from space technologies into policy and direct economic benefits. Furthermore, the conference increased awareness of existing regional and international initiatives.

The UK space sector has been identified as one of the 8 great technologies (advance materials, agri-science, regenerative medicine, synthetic biology, robotics and autonomous systems, space and satellites, big data and energy storage) to support UK economic development. Despite current challenging economic conditions internationally, the sector has grown 16% since 2009. The industry contributes around £9 bn annually to the UK economy, employs over 29,000 highly skilled professionals and positions the UK at the centre of the international space the international level.

A vibrant and competitive global space industry will provide multiple benefits: ensuring access to resources, promoting sustainable growth, contributing to international stability and providing innovative solutions to global problems such as climate change.

Want to find out more?

Sign up to our newsletter