To boldly lead the global space industry
With more than 50 startups specializing in space technology, Israel is one of the leading SpaceTech nations in the world. As the "New Space" market booms, and the race to the moon now mostly in the hands of private players, it is time for Europe to embrace this huge opportunity – and embrace the collaboration with Israel
Communication, navigation, radio, weather forecasts - these and many other applications of satellite technology are an integral part of our everyday life. The space market, with a relatively new focus on the so-called New Space industry, has become one of the world's most significant growth engines. Financial analysts worldwide are unanimously predicting high sales growth in the space market, with numbers fluctuating between one and several trillion dollars by the year 2040.As the rapid development of this market continues to increase, it must be taken into account that the vast majority of the development of this fast-growing market has been made possible thanks to private initiatives, and not to any national incentive, as had been the case a decade or two ago. The race to the moon is now mostly both the prerogative and the responsibility of private players, who continue to bring competition to the previously isolated and difficult-to-access market. That leaves the question, what is the role of national programs in advancing this endeavor?
A clear, objective view at Israel and its strong innovation capabilities would result in a very simple conclusion: collaboration with Israel's sector-coupling ability, enabling high-speed innovation with a proven track record, could be a perfect fit for EU countries. A close exchange with Israel can help shape regulation domestically as well as a reform of the international space treaty, which is urgently necessary due to the already ongoing race for cosmic raw material sources, among other pressing issues. Indeed, the German government has recently joined the first-ever German Israeli Space Forum, hosted by ELNET in partnership with the Federation of German Industries (BDI), in order to allow for a close exchange of knowledge between the two countries and markets – and ultimately lay a foundation for future collaborations to jointly leverage the immense potential of the intensive use of space by both nations. I do hope that further EU countries will think of their interests and follow Germany's example.Carsten Ovens is the Executive Director of ELNET Germany