Results of a three-year study entitled "The socio-economic impact of public policies in the space sector in Italy"

12 January 2022

The topic of the socio-economic impact of public policies for space, which in Italy regard both the Italian Space Agency (ASI), directly, and the national contribution share in favour of the European Space Agency, indirectly, is key to be able to define an assessment metrics of the funding choices that have been made and the validity of the investments, in order to highlight the strengths on which to bet but also the weaknesses to improve with specific correction actions.

In this context, ASI, together with to the Department of Economy, Management and Quantitaties Methods of University of Milan, has carried out a three-year research study about “THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF PUBLIC POLICIES IN THE SPACE SECTOR IN ITALY”.

‘The study” comments Simonetta di Ciaccio, Responsible of that activity for ASI, “ aims to evaluate public intervention on economic performance, innovative activity and scientific productivity of the national space sector. We are proud of the results that open new perspectives for the future”.

Several stakeholders of the national space systems have been considered as key targets:

- Companies which provide upstream technologies and participate in the value chain, including research, development and manufacturing of enabling space infrastructures, including technology subcontractors.

- Companies and other downstream organizations in the field of Earth observation (EO): private and public stakeholders who are intermediate users of EO data and provide services and applications to end users (public administration, companies and citizens) in several areas.

- The scientific community active in space research: research centres (private or public, universities or other institutes), which have worked in various capacities with the ASI to carry out a project and produced knowledge.

From a methodological perspective, the research was based on a dual mode, aimed at monitoring the convergence of the results, as well as on a comparative analysis of the international researches on the socio-economic impact of public investments in space:

· Direct survey on three types of stakeholders, with the participation in the project of 305 key witnesses;

· Econometric analysis of historical series (1990-2020) of budget figures, patent data, scientometric data, with over 20000 observations.

ASI’s activity is aimed at improving the design skills and expertise of the national industrial network, strengthening the level of scientific and technological research and, especially, raising the competitiveness of the industry in general, by enhancing its social impact, also in terms of quality employment. “For these purposes” highlights Mauro Piermaria, Head of ASI Innovation and New Space Economy Unit, “we need an ongoing analysis activity serving as control and feedback. Such need is further strengthened by the dynamic moment that the space sector is experiencing in the field of what is commonly known as space economy, which also requires more innovative approaches for public procurement.

The results of the work are summarised in the report

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