To respond to the increasing need to position Europe at the cutting edge of innovation in all fields, including space, it is necessary to move towards ‘open innovation’. In this context, it is of paramount importance to keep ESA at the forefront of the European Open Innovation Ecosystem, creating new competences in the space business, while preserving the richness of ESA in terms of programmes and talents, maximising the integration of space into European society and economy.
- ESA’s model of business innovation is being adapted to the buoyant community of space (and non-space) downstream business innovators and start-ups;
- ESA implements uniform and adapted approaches to develop downstream business building on all the already successful downstream initiatives led inside ESA;
- the level of connectivity among the different initiatives led by and outside of ESA is reinforced;
- ‘New Space’ and ‘non-space’ communities now finds easy access to ESA support through a single ‘gateway’ with uniform processes.
The ‘Downstream Gateway’ creates links between new and emerging downstream business sectors and ESA programmes. This enables new downstream communities to interact more easily with ESA as a whole. It thus complements the existing programme-driven interfaces to traditional business sectors (for example, transport, oil and gas, insurance, agriculture).
To achieve this, Downstream Gateway implements new ESA-wide functions as a service to both external and internal actors. To external actors it provides easy access to ESA expertise and activities in applications and technical domains. To internal actors, it provides direct access to a core ESA group with business and marketing expertise. The Downstream Gateway will benefit downstream industry by also linking prospective new customers and investors to European companies offering readily available solutions that match customer needs.