Emerging Space 2023

The fourth edition of Emerging Space gathered 400 participants from all around the World and launched a new European cooperation initiative.

On the 30th of May, the fourth edition of Emerging Space, the leading European space industry conference focused on emerging space ecosystems, took place in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Its main objective, as in previous editions, was to help emerging space ecosystems grow and be valuable members of the global space community. Slovakia, as one of such newer and relatively smaller space ecosystems, considers this to be a topic of great importance bringing added value to both new and well-established space players.

Emerging Space is the bi-annual event of SARIO focused on the current trends in the space sector with an emphasis on new countries, stakeholders, and domains involved. Since the last two editions of Emerging Space were held online, this year was special as it brought many of the attendees to Bratislava.

In total the event drew the attention of more than 400 in-person and online participants. It also attracted a stellar speaker lineup from international organisations, space agencies, and the major European space industry, as well as leading global and European associations and NGOs.

After the official opening by the state secretary from the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic Peter Švec and a keynote by the executive director of EUSPA Rodrigo da Costa, the event continued with the set of its three traditional topics.

In the first one, keynoted by ISU president Pascale Ehrenfreund, the panelists discussed how to build new space ecosystems, scale them up, and bridge them with well-established mature space powers. The second session, with a keynote from ESA's Director of Commercialisation, Industry, and Competitiveness Geraldine Naja, focused on spin-ins, private investors, and other non-traditional stakeholders driving the space sector of the 21st century.

Last but not least, the third session took a detailed look at the new technological areas and markets shaping today's and future space economy.

The closing session featuring leading European experts on space economy and policy highlighted the main messages of the conference including:

  • The motivation to enter the space sector has shifted over decades from the space race to a variety of pragmatic drivers linked to such areas as innovation, education, economy, environment, society, or security.
  • The development of ecosystems as well as policy in many emerging space countries has significantly advanced over the past 5 years, showing their strong potential and ambition for the sector.
  • Europe needs to work further on fostering deeper collaboration between its well-established and emerging space ecosystems as it can provide a significant boost in terms of capabilities, talent, and investment in the sector.

Between the main sessions, the participants had a chance to learn about the most recent achievements of the Slovak space companies, the Slovak space startup incubator Spaceport_SK, or Poland’s initiative to bring the IAC to the CEE region in the near future. The full program is available here.

The second day of the event continued with the Emerging Space European Industry Summit (ESEIS), an inaugural edition of a closed-door meeting organized together with ASD Eurospace. It brought together twenty key representatives of leading European space companies and emerging space ecosystems of Europe, as well as ESA representation in order to help them efficiently share information about the stakeholders‘ respective capabilities and cooperation opportunities.

One of the particular outcomes of this inaugural meeting was the consensus of the participants on turning ESEIS into a regular dialogue that will systematically help to create new connections between the well-established and emerging space ecosystems of Europe with an aim to contribute to increasing the overall competitiveness of Europe in space.

It is also planned to work towards a common statement highlighting the key aspects and messages of this collaboration initiative.

Running in parallel to ESEIS, the event Emerging Space Education focused on the space engineering program at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of the Slovak Technical University, aiming to explore success stories, foster collaboration, and discuss strategies for program enhancement.

Featuring speakers from academia, Slovak companies, as well as representatives from the Space Foundation and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), the event emphasized the importance of industry-academia collaborations, practical skills development, interdisciplinary collaborations, industry alignment, and global engagement in advancing the program.

Key takeaways from the event, which included the significance of international partnerships, mentorship opportunities, and fostering innovation focus among students, provided valuable insights for Slovak Technical University to meet the evolving needs of the space industry.

The last day of Emerging Space showcased the connection between space and creative sectors. During the webinar, participants learned more about space architecture, the usage of virtual reality in space training, and the evolving representation and significance of outer space in science fiction movies.

This event was possible thanks to our partners, namely ASD Eurospace, European Space Agency (ESA), EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), International Astronautical Federation, Eurisy, Space Foundation, Space Generation Advisory Council, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of STU in Bratislava, European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), SpaceTec Partners, Deutsche Telekom IT Solutions Slovakia, and Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of Slovak republic.