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Evolution of the Role of Space Agencies

The evolution of the global space sector, characterised by an increased commercialisation of space activities and an overall greater maturity of the private space industry, represents an opportunity for space agencies to revisit, adapt and enhance some of their tools, mechanisms and approaches in setting and pursuing objectives of public space programmes.

Through internal reflection, case studies and an extensive consultation campaign, ESPI investigated the overall role of space agencies within this evolved context and different approaches of interacting with the private sector, notably through analysing:

  • The historic evolution of mandates and roles played by space agencies;
  • Various tasks space agencies play and the objectives they pursue;
  • The implications and differences of available procurement tools;
  • Dynamics in customer-provider relationships between agencies and industry
  • Approaches to establishing and implementing Public-private partnerships;
  • Roles of agencies as market enablers and market creators;

Taking stock of the analysis, ESPI elaborated on how space agencies in the European context could increasingly benefit from the ongoing changes in the industrial and institutional spacescape, evolve their institutional mission, design and embrace adapted customer-provider relationships, and implement new approaches to fully leverage this evolved dynamic.

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