Space economy to the Mediterranean economy

17th November 2022 13:30 – 14:30

2ND Mediterranean Space Forum

The Second edition of the Mediterranean Space Forum will bring together the public and private sector, Science and Research, Space Agencies from the Mediterranean and European countries, as well as members of International Space Organizations.

The focus will be on showcasing how space assets can contribute and impact Mediterranean society and its economy. The main vertical sectors such as energy, tourism, cultural heritage agriculture, water and infrastructures will be addressed. The Business Applications Space Solutions must support economic operators in the development of sustainable solutions in a variety of sectors, ranging from energy,
cultural heritage and smart cities.

The Meda Space Forum is keen to present the current and upcoming opportunities for the industry to pursue innovative ideas, addressing user needs in the context of the new digital age for the benefit of the citizens and companies in the Mediterranean Region.


The space sector continues to grow inter alia due to increasing demand from both commercial and institutional markets. In an era of profound digital transformation, the outcome is that we must make a decisive step forward in strengthening space in the digital age.

As key components of the world’s growing digitalisation, space technologies will play a role in furthering social well-being and sustainable growth in the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

Notably, space technologies can contribute to bridging the digital divide, monitor changing climate,  extreme weather and the use of natural resources, and create new economic opportunities.

Mediterranean countries should work together to face major challenges in space science. Decision makers need to better understand and map the use of space technologies in government services and society as well as future needs and identify and address key hurdles to technology uptake and sector development, such as skills gaps and availability of personnel, to ensure the cost efficiency and sustainability of critical space infrastructure. This will require concrete efforts across multiple government services and between countries, as well as expanding cooperation with the private sector.

The economies of several Mediterranean countries have made great progress in the economic measurement of their space activities, contributing to enhanced awareness of the contributions of the space economy to the general economy and to the  ccountability of public spending in this area. These activities contribute to better understanding and evaluating the impacts of government investments and will prove useful for underpinning future government investments and policy decisions.

Key words

Innovation systems, space investments, digital revolution,
emerging technologies, financing, gender equality, satellite data, space debris, ustainability

Alberto García-Rigo

Head of Knowledge Transfer Office, Insititut Estudis Espacials de Catalunya

Natalia Vicente

Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Global Satellite Operators Association (GSOA)

Stelios Bollanos

Cofounder & Director, Planetek Hellas Greece

Hans Bracquené

Chairman European Aerospace SMEs Association, SME4SPACE

Borja Barbero Barcenilla

Texas A&M University – NASA GeneLab

Slobodan Bosanac

President, Adriatic Aerospace Association

The space economy is expanding and becoming increasingly global, driven by the development of evermore governmental space programmes around the world, the multiplication of commercial actors in value chains, durable digitalisation trends, and new space systems coming of age. It highlights the  growing importance of space activities for the economy, for developing country strategies, for the pursuit of knowledge and scientific discoveries, and for society in general. This session will explore how to get the most out of space investments and promote sustained socio-economic growth.

The final goal is to foster the discussion on:

How the space industry and technology can support the solution to the region challenges and contribute to the development of new opportunities for the Mediterranean countries.

How the space industry contributes to building the next generation of Mediterranean space systems and aims to accelerate the use of space in the region to bring prosperity, connectivity and greener living for the Mediterranean economy and people.

Key points for discussion:

  • The ongoing transformation of the Mediterranean space sector
  • The returns from space investments
  • Digital (r)evolution in manufacturing and in the production of space systems
  • The role of emerging technologies in addressing grand challenges.

Although national situations differ, a variety of actors are involved in the creation and diffusion of knowledge in the space sector. Investment in science and basic research play a key role in innovation systems by pushing the knowledge frontier. Public institutions still provide the foundations for a large share of ongoing space activities and future space innovation in most countries, and they rely on sustained institutional support. Business enterprises play a significant role in space programmes in many countries. Start-ups are particularly active in downstream space applications and are often quite detached from the traditional space industry. And the higher education system is also a crucial actor in basic research, undertaking three-quarters of total basic research.

Used in many sectors, challenges and prizes are a relatively recent set of tools to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in the space sector. These prizes are multiplying around the world, and are funded by governmental agencies or private organisations, or jointly. They not only attract entrepreneurs and media attention, but are also motivating the established industry.

Moreover, there is growing interest in specific economic benefit domains of government space programmes, such as contributions to innovation or entrepreneurship. Government space R&D programmes, especially in the domains of spaceflight and on-orbit applications (e.g., launch, earth observation, space exploration) have specific characteristics that lead them to be particularly beneficial for participating firms and organisations in terms of knowledge and technology  transfers.

Salvador Illa

Ministry of Health, Government of Spain (Special Guest Speaker)

Enric Mayolas

Consulting Director, World Health Management (Moderator)

Gonzalo Fanjul

Policy Director, Institut Salut Global

Chakib Abouzaid

Secretary General, General Arab Insurance Federation

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