Enhancing competitiveness of European space sector with increased investments

13 July 2018

Today, ESA Director General Jan Wörner and Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Ambroise Fayolle signed a joint statement on enhancing the competitiveness of the European space sector by supporting investments in actors of the sector with promising short- or medium-term perspectives.

The joint statement puts forth the intention of the two organisations to cooperate on devising joint support mechanisms in order to help create a level-playing field for European companies to grow and compete globally.

In his introductory remarks, Ambroise Fayolle recalled that as the EIB has a mission to support sustainable investment projects that contribute to growth and employment in Europe, with a focus on innovation and skills; access to finance for smaller businesses; infrastructure; and climate change.

Jan Wörner pointed out that ESA has been the space agency for Europe and the Member States since 1975, and has been instrumental in the development of a globally successful European space sector. As one of the one of the few agencies in the world to be active in nearly all space domains, ESA continues to ensure space delivers smart growth, highly qualified jobs, and solutions for many current challenges in areas such as climate change, energy, transport, safety and security, agriculture and so on.

Both representatives highlighted the shared interests of EIB and ESA in further enhancing the competitiveness of European industry, maintaining an independent access to space and critical space capabilities.

At the same time, they recognised that more than ever before the sector is no longer only the preserve of institutional players thanks to decades of institutional investments in space. Indeed, they stressed, there is an increasing interest in and growing importance of commercialisation at every level of the space value-added chain: from space manufacturing, to transportation, to satellite operations and the development of consumer services based on satellite signals and data.

By bringing together their complementary expertise and experience, EIB and ESA formalise their shared goal of and intention to promote investments in space by developing various axes of cooperation, such as:

  • raising awareness among investors of the potential of space as a driver for innovation and growth;
  • supporting actors in the space sector that have promising short- or medium-term growth perspectives;
  • improving the access to finance for promoters of space projects, including via the study of suitable joint instruments.

The joint statement was prepared by teams led by the ESA Strategy Department and the EIB Innovation and Competitiveness Department. They comprised of all relevant competences in the respective organisations.

The joint statement can be found here.

Further information

Kai-Uwe Schrogl
ESA’s Chief Strategy Officer
Kai-Uwe.Schrogl @ esa.int

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