The intense space race between the United States and the Soviet Union paved the way for a lot of today’s technology and has continually driven countries to develop new space systems. Today, a new space race is occurring among private companies, rather than nations. This new phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “NewSpace”. Private firms entering the space market bring new technology and market-driven thinking combined with a drive toward miniaturisation and the production of innovative, small and low-cost space systems that will open up a new class of products and services. Lower-cost systems can support riskier projects, allowing for more innovation and enticing entrepreneurs from other industries.

The space industry has the potential to be a catalyst for significant economic growth and to cement Europe’s role as an influential global player. Europe already has a strong space sector, with the second-largest public sector space budget in the world. As the industry undergoes rapid transformation due to the entry of new private firms, more must be done to keep up with these changes and to make sure Europe remains a global leader.

Finance is a critical component to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive in the space industry. For young businesses to thrive, funding for ideas that have a specific space context must be available. The European Commission is supporting the entire space supply chain, in part by introducing new sources of financing and supporting new founders across the single market. The Commission is also raising awareness throughout the space industry about funding opportunities and is reaching out to the EIB and the EIF to adapt new techniques and approaches to financing this industry.

Following a request from the European Commission, EIB InnovFin Advisory and the Hub are carrying out a study on the space sector’s access to finance. The study will identify gaps in financing across the space sector and suggest possible solutions. This study will contribute to shaping Europe’s policy actions in support of space industries by assessing the current investment landscape and identifying gaps in financing across the value chain as well as potential solutions.

The results of the study will therefore support the European Commission in framing its space policy budget, financing needs, and priorities for the current and future Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).