The Space Economy at a Glance 2007

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16 Oct 2007
9789264040847 (PDF) ;9789264031098(print)

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Space applications are becoming an increasingly important part of everyday life. Weather forecasting, air traffic control, global communications and broadcasting, disaster management -- these and many other key activities would be almost unthinkable today without satellite technology. The space industry itself is relatively small compared to other manufacturing sectors, but its technological dynamism and strategic significance mean that it plays an ever more critical role in modern society.

Paradoxically, it also figures among the sectors which are the least developed in terms of robust, internationally comparable statistics and data. This book attempts to rectify that situation by assembling information from a wide range of official and non-official sources. Together these paint a richly detailed picture of the space industry, its downstream services activities, and its wider economic and social impacts. Who are the main space-faring nations? How large are revenues and how much employment is there in the sector? How much R&D goes on, and where? What is the value of spin-offs from space spending? Answers to these and other questions are provided in this first-ever OECD statistical overview of the emerging space economy.

A dynamic link (StatLink) is provided for graphs, which directs the user to a web page where the corresponding data are available in Excel® format.

Also available in French
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  • Executive Summary and introduction
    Space applications have the potential to provide significant contributions to society’s responses to 21st century challenges, such as environmental monitoring, management of natural resources, security and safety. Key activities in everyday life – weather forecasting, global communications and broadcasting, disaster prevention and relief – depend increasingly on the unobtrusive utilisation of space technologies. Over coming decades, space-related applications, such as distance education, telemedicine, precision farming, land use management, and monitoring of various international treaties, will continue to hold great socio-economic promise
  • Overview of the aerospace sector: background
    The space economy evolved from the aerospace industry and the two still share many aspects, components and technologies (e.g. space launchers are modified guided missiles). Detailed examination of the space sector is hampered by this legacy since many data are still classified according to categories defined for aerospace. As the UN International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) summarised in Box 1.1 shows, this covers everything from hang gliders to space shuttles, so national statistical offices and space agencies are working to make a clearer distinction between space and aerospace classifications. This will enhance the availability and accuracy of data on the space economy in the future.
  • Readiness: inputs to the space economy
    This chapter examines the technical, commercial and financial infrastructures necessary to engage in significant space activities. The focus is on the financial and human resources employed in the production of space-related hardware; the provision of related services; as well as research and development activities that may lead to the creation or improvement of goods and services.
  • Intensity: outputs from the space economy
    The statistics on outputs offer an overview of the use of space infrastructures, i.e. products or services that are produced or provided by the space sector. Outputs also include the benefits to industries or countries deriving from the production of space products or the performance of space-related R&D. These include financial benefits (e.g. trade revenues) and indicators of present and future financial benefits (e.g. patents).
  • Impacts of space activities
    Data in previous chapters on the inputs and outputs of the emerging space economy illustrate how the use of space assets for various applications seems to be increasing and, with it, the impacts on economy and society. This chapter illustrates various types of impacts derived from the development of space activities, using information from diverse sources. Where possible, this information is quantitative, but more often it is qualitative.
  • Spotlights on space activities of selected countries
    This chapter looks at space developments of some members of the OECD Global Forum on Space Economics. The countries covered are the United States, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway.
  • Annexes
    In February 2006, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched a Global Forum on Space Economics under the aegis of the International Futures Programme (IFP). The purpose of the Forum is to help space agencies and governments to better identify statistically the sector and investigate its economic dimensions as an infrastructure for the larger economy.
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