Emerging Space 2023: the conference launched a new European cooperation initiative

The conference focused on the current trends in the space sector with an emphasis on new countries, stakeholders and domains involved. It attracted a stellar speaker line-up from international organisations (International Astronautical Federation, UNOOSA), space agencies (EU Agency for the Space Programme, European Space Agency (ESA), CNES, Polish Space Agency), and the major European space industry (Thales Alenia Space, SpaceTec Partners, SAB Aerospace), as well as leading European associations (Eurisy, ASD Eurospace), academia (European Space Policy Institute, International Space University) and NGOs (Space Generation Advisory Council, Space Foundation).

The conference was opened by Peter Švec, State Secretary from the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic, followed by a keynote address from Rodrigo da Costa, the EUSPA executive director, who presented to the audience the overarching EU Space Programme including the latest developments related to IRIS2The conference was structured around three panel discussions where major international experts brought their experience and work to exchange over three main questions. The first panel revolved around question on how to build new space ecosystems, scale them up, and bridge them with well-established mature space powers.

The second session focused on spin-ins, private investors, and other non-traditional stakeholders driving modern space sector. The European Space Agency through the voice of Geraldine Naja, ESA Director for Commercialisation, Industry and Competitiveness illustrated the vision of the Agency and the many opportunities offered to European companies to connect and engage with different stakeholders to favour cross-fertilisation, boost innovation and stimulate growth. 


The third session took a detailed look at the new technological areas and markets shaping today’s and future space economy. The discussion included interventions from the key players of the European space industry, such as Airbus and Thales Alenia Space, and also provided the audience with some scientific insights from the European Space Policy Institute and the International Astronautical Federation.

Eurisy was represented at the conference by its Secretary General, who participated to the panel Emerging Space Domains: the new technological areas and markets shaping today’s (and future‘s) space economy.

As reported by the organisers of the conference, the three key messages were formulated during the closing session as follows:

  • 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.  

Apart from panel discussions, the conference served as a platform for two side-events – Emerging Space European Industry Summit (ESEIS) and Emerging Space Education.

ESEIS was organised in partnership with ASD Eurospace and held in a closed-door format. As a result of this collaboration initiative, the participants agreed to turn ESEIS into a regular dialogue that would foster new connections between the well-established and emerging ecosystems of Europe. For more information about the outcomes, please consult the full version of the report.

The focus of the last day of the conference was placed on the demonstration of cases where space and creative sectors are interlinked, creating applications for various domains of activity like training, education and construction.

For more information about this conference, please visit the links below:

The official report of the conference: Emerging Space 2023 – report | SARIO, Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency 

The full program is available here.