The Space Economy

The Italian aerospace sector is the 7th worldwide and the 4th in Europe by turnover (ICE, 2020).

This is important, not just because of the economic value, but because the industry drives innovation: many products, materials and technologies that we take for granted in different areas of our life were born in the aerospace industry.

The Digital Catalyst

As we know, digital transformation impacts all industries – just as the aerospace industry always has.

This makes the innovation that “digital + aerospace” integration can enable even more strategic.

There is talk of a completely new market – the Space Economy – which already sees extraordinary growth figures. The fact that the Space Economy is often referred to as the only industry capable of “solving” the climate crisis further increases the already high expectations to this industry.

Lowering technology costs, big data solutions and availability of capital all enabled by digitalization contribute to a rapid consolidation of a private aerospace industry with companies, investors and startups ready to support (or replace) initiatives that until now have only been public. The recent launches into orbit by Besos and Branson, in addition to the space activities already underway by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, are proof that something has changed forever.

The opportunity for Italy

Italy is very well positioned to take advantage of the potential of the Space Economy:

  • more than half of the Italian regions have an aerospace district with universities, research centers, consolidated companies and startups;
  • various Italian companies are already among the international leaders in the industry;
  • Italy hosts the first spaceport approved by the EU in Grottaglie, Puglia.

In short, the foundation for carving out an important role in this innovative and growing market certainly exists.

Photo credits: NASA, Creative Commons.

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