Polish firms increasingly often venture into space technologiesPublished: 14.01.2016
Space technologies are increasingly present in everyday life. We use them almost every day without realizing that inventions imported from the astronaut world improve our comfort of living.
The Polish space technologies market amounts to, depending on the adopted methodology, between PLN 7.3 bln and PLN 12.5 bln, according to a report entitled "Stellar business" prepared by Grand Thornton consultancy.
Businesses worldwide are increasingly often drawing on the findings of scientists dealing with space and its exploration, the authors of the report point out. More and more firms are applying technologies originally created for space aeronautics to their own products.
The global space technologies industry reached some USD 330 bln in revenues in 2014, Grant Thornton experts wrote, based on calculations of Space Foundation, an NGO.
Also Polish firms increasingly often venture into technologies which stem from space aeronautics and space exploration, a manager at Grand Thornton's audit department Pawel Zaczynski pointed out.
"These technologies have become a basis for whole new segments in the Polish economy," Zaczynski said. "This market is already worth billions of zloty and headcount is in the thousands."
Poland's space technologies market may grow to nearly PLN 14 bln
Sales of Polish firms using space technologies reached PLN 7.3 bln in 2014 under a narrower definition of such firms, or PLN 12.5 bln under a broader definition, Grant Thornton calculations show. Back in 2012, these figures reached PLN 5.6 bln and PLN 10.4 bln respectively and they should increase to PLN 8.4 bln and PLN 13.7 bln in 2015, Grant Thornton experts forecast.
Source: Grant Thornton
These forecast values, while impressive, could still be higher as not all firms using space technologies have been included in the report; for instance logistics or trade firms which use such technologies to monitor their car fleets have been excluded.
“The narrow definition covers firms which to a large extent base their business model on using technologies drawn from space aeronautics, and which would be practically unable to function in the current form without these technologies," Zaczynski explained.
This group includes producers of mobile apps and other devices using GPS (e.g. navigation systems) and GPS maps, producers of systems supporting transport and logistics firms, firms offering taxi rides using GPS, cable TV and digital TV providers.
The broader definition also includes firms which to some extent use space technologies, but would be able to function without them, Zaczynski explained. These include airlines, firms producing sport nutrients, producers of electronic tools or wireless household appliances, as well as producers of gas and smoke detectors.
Space technologies industry set to develop even faster
Considering the growth rate of the space technologies industry, one may assume that it will have an increasing contribution to Polish GDP, Zaczynski believes.
The development of space technologies will accelerate further in the nearest future, Grant Thornton experts believe. This will give another stimulus for market development.
While in the previous century the space race was a competition between superpowers, at present one can talk about a race of businesses. Firms which win this race will record extraordinary financial results as well as create new products and services they will be able to offer to their clients.
The industry of space technologies and space exploration is increasingly often inspiring also for Polish entrepreneurs. Eva Blaisdell and Michal Lisiecki are creating a new platform named Copernicus Ventures Int., which gives European firms access to the US capital market. An agreement on the matter was signed in New York.
The platform's goal is to support development of young firms from Europe via injection of capital and know-how. Copernicus Ventures will provide US investors with access to Europe’s best start-ups, while firms from the Old Continent will be able to fully use their potential thanks to access to capital for high-risk ventures. One of the first firms to receive support were Polish NOIDSS and Saule Technologies.
POLSA agency supports development of space technologies
In July 2014 Poland established the Polish Space Agency (POLSA)to support the development of the Polish space industry, liquidating the existing barriers between the scientific and business worlds and acting as a middleman between the European Space Agency (ESA) and domestic firms (for securing capital).
The creation of the Polish Space Agency should help Poland secure more contracts realized jointly with the ESA.
Poland joined ESA in 2012 and has since paid EUR 130 mln into ESA's joint fund. As a new member, Poland is in a five-year trial period, which means that 45% of its contributions to the ESA will return in the form of projects.
Source - Polish Press Agency, Economic Service