The Space Economy at a Glance 2011

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Space applications have become an 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. 

This book assembles information on the space economy 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 second 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.



Research and development

The official OECD statistics relating to aerospace industry research and development (R&D) presented here focus on business enterprise research and development (BERD) data. BERD is considered to be closely linked to the development of new products and production techniques. BERD data for aerospace are heavily dominated by a few large countries. Four of the OECD’s largest industrial spenders – the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Germany – account for more than 80% of the total (Table 26.1). The evolution of BERD performed in the aerospace industry for selected OECD countries shows the industry in the United States investing twice as much as the total European industry. Taken nationally, the French, German and British aerospace industries invested each four times less than their American counterparts in 2006 (Figure 26.2).


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