Outcomes of the Course on Competitive opportunities for the Spanish New Space

The first edition of the Course on “Competitive opportunities for the Spanish New Space: Technology, impact and society”, organised by SATLANTIS together with the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) at Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander on 13, 14 and 15 July 2022, was successfully concluded.

This three-day course, with the direction of SATLANTIS CEO Juan Tomás Hernani, and the secretariat of the former ESA Scientific Director, Álvaro Giménez, provided cogent insights of the competitive opportunities for the Spanish New Space through an international forum of dialogues on technology, industry and society. Round tables and inspiring presentations on the most significant current topics of the Spanish New Space have been held, with attendees having a deep knowledge of the space sector, coming from Europe, the United States and Spain. The course has benefited from speakers of reference in the science and technology sectors, from representatives of the Spanish Government, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, CDTI Innovación and institutions such as the European Commission, ESA and NASA, from Universities, scientific organisations and tenchological institutes such as INTA, ICGC and IAC, large companies such as Indra and Enagás, plus a number of leading European Space SMEs.

The course gave an overview of the Spanish New Space sector, bursting onto the international scene and bringing numerous competitive opportunities. The Spanish New Space is already a consolidated industry with 30% of growth.

For the Secretary General of Industry, Raúl Blanco, who inaugurated the course, “Spanish New Space is already a consolidated industry, with a balanced territorial distribution, which we must continue to develop as a priority”. Teresa Riesgo, Secretary General for Innovation, who also opened the course and moderated the debate of the main European New Space companies, affirmed that both the Space PERTE recently announced by the Government and the conference of European Space Ministers that will take place in Paris next November, will reinforce the Spanish space industry with resources never seen before.

The testimonies of so many key personalities related to the space world have clearly demonstrated that the challenges and, above all, the opportunities of New Space created with the synergy between scientific and business commitment, have made New Space an evolving but already firm reality destined to continue advancing by leaps and bounds in the near future.

The key message conveyed during the encounter is that New Space is a relatively recent and continuously developing sector that has already become a strong reality rooted in society, with a growing number of applications with constructive impact.

Promoting the New Space with its array of remarkable innovative projects and disruptive technologies also means lowering the barriers of access to space with the consequence of strengthening the ecosystem of countries, benefiting not only the industry but also the society.

Key topics like the technological disruption and the value chain of nowaday’s Spanish New Space have been analyzed during in-depth talks, like the one moderated by Cecilia Hernández (Science Programme at CDTI).

Daniel Calleja, Director General of the European Commission and responsible for the launch of Galileo 10 years ago, stated that Europe must insist on the “Open Strategic Space Autonomy”, combining collaboration with the implementation of critical resources. In this respect, European companies such as Finland’s ICEYE in radar or Spain’s SATLANTIS in optics, which are already achieving sub-metre capabilities, must continue their commitment to industrial leadership in an intense manner.

For Jean-Jacques Dordain, former DG of ESA, “the success of space comes when companies from outside space become involved in the sector”, and he highlighted the case of Enagás, a sponsor of the meeting.

Nicola Melega, from ESA, expressed the modalities of participation in Scout, Philab and Incubed projects, showing his hope that Spain will offer new Incubed projects as competitive as those presented at the Santander conference.

INDRA, through Fernando García, presented STARTICAL, a gigantic national project that can mobilise the national structure of the New Space.

During the different sessions, highly specialised space companies discussed their strategies: ALEN Space, ALTER GROUP, APCO Technologies, DEIMOS, DHV, GEOSAT, GMV, HISPASAT, ICEYE, KSAT, OHB-SWEDEN, PANGEA Aerospace, PLD, SATELIOT, SATLANTIS, STARTICAL and TERRABOTICS held the debates on the industrial side. Many of them are already medium-sized companies.

Juan Tomás Hernani, CEO of SATLANTIS and director of the course, pointed out that “the competitive race is international and global, and that investments and project priorities must be decided according to this criterion. We have just presented the next generation of cameras for 2025, which use all the previous technology, but produce a quantum leap in disambiguating the language of light. New detection thresholds for aerosols, methane, sea pollution, through an accuracy never seen before”.

The Space and Society part was led by Terry Virts, NASA astronaut, and by the astrophysicist Garik Israeilian, who presented the Starmus programme, the world’s largest conference on science, astrophysics and space, with the participation of 8 Nobel laureates, which this year will be held in Yerevan, Armenia, from 5 to 9 September.

Thanks to all participants for their invaluable contributions, enthusiasm, support and for the commitment created with the audience.

SATLANTIS team also thanks Enagás for supporting the event as well as a sponsor, and the Menéndez Pelayo International University for its fruitful collaboration in the successful organization. UIMP Rector Carlos Andradas stated that: “This meeting organised by SATLANTIS should now form a permanent part of the agenda of the sectoral debates that take place at the Summer University”.


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