More than 80 countries have launched satellites in orbit, and satellite signals and data play an increasingly pivotal role in the efficient functioning of societies and their economic development. In co-operation with the space community, the OECD Space Forum is a unique international group with the mission to investigate the space sector’s economic and innovation dimensions for the larger economy and society. The Space Forum is located within OECD, an economic, non-space, international organisation, whose main focus is statistical excellence and policy review in many different government domains. This unique international platform contributes to constructive dialogue between stakeholders and exchanges of best practices.
The OECD Space Forum is a unique international platform working with the space community to support evidence-based policies, by examining the economic dimensions and innovation role of the space sector for the wider economy. The Forum's original analysis also contribute to broader OECD Committee on Science and Technology Policy priorities (e.g. digitalisation, emerging technologies for addressing grand challenges).
The Secretariat carries on economic research, indicators development and continuing studies on evaluation and impact assessment. We are currently conducting work on space technology transfers and public-private partnerships in the space sector, as well as updating and revising our Handbook on Measuring the Space Economy. A ground-breaking project is also ongoing to examine the value and sustainability of space-based infrastructure in close collaboration with selected universities / research centres around the world. The OECD Space Forum also supports its members on a bilateral basis and contributes substance to a large-scale OECD-wide horizontal Digital Project.
Selected Meetings (in addition to other events organised by partner organisations):
The Space Forum Secretariat was tasked by the cabinet of the OECD Secretariat General to prepare a briefing note on the space economy and its measurement - based on existing work - as a contribution to a forthcoming meeting of experts in the G20 Group. The G20 group discusses economic, social, finance and trade issues, but this appears to be one of the first times that space is addressed in this international setup. We put together the attached note based on recent activities, with broad recommendations in terms of space economy measurement as to foster international comparability. Some indicators you know from our reports (budgets, ODA) are included, with some updated data. We hope you find this briefing note interesting.
As part of the digitalisation of the economy, satellite signals and data play an increasingly pivotal role in the efficient functioning of societies and their economic development. The recent growth in the sector has generated unprecedented levels of entrepreneurship and start-up activity. However, with the COVID-19 crisis, this positive trend could be reversed. While many space sector firms seem to be able to cope, a significant number is struggling, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises that constitute the bulk of commercial actors in the space industry. Considering the high costs of entry to the sector, there is a risk that the crisis could lead to more industry concentration, eliminating smaller and younger firms that are key sources of innovation, employment and economic growth. Space agencies and other public administrations therefore need to fully consider vulnerable smaller actors in their overall crisis responses.
Where is the space sector headed? How can public and private actors work together to solve mutual challenges and sustain growth? What is the role of government programmes and funding? This paper addresses these and other questions by reviewing the evolving relationship between public and private actors in the space sector over the last two decades, based on case studies from North America, Europe and Asia. It provides new evidence for navigating the post-Covid-19 era, notably by exploring the range of government roles in supporting space sector innovation and expansion, from funder and developer of space programmes to partner and enabler of private sector growth.
This paper explores selected long-term sustainability issues related to increasing activities in outer space, with a particular focus on the economics of space debris. It reviews trends of selected space sustainability issues and discusses a range of possible policy actions. A notable policy response would be to strengthen space situational awareness systems and data reporting structures, while addressing operator compliance behaviour at both the national and international levels. Adequately addressing these challenges will require a reinforced coordinated international approach, in addition to increased collaboration with the private sector.