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OECD Space Forum

More than 60 countries have satellites in orbit, and satellite signals and data play an increasingly pivotal role in the efficient functioning of societies and their economic development. In co-operation with the space community, the OECD Space Forum was established to assist governments, space-related agencies and the private sector to better identify the statistical contours of the space sector, while investigating space infrastructure’s economic significance, its role in innovation and potential impacts for the larger economy. This unique international platform contributes to constructive dialogue between stakeholders and exchanges of best practices.

Earth observation and OECD

Space Forum Members

AEM (Mexico)

ASI (Italy)

CNES (France)

CSA (Canada)

DLR (Germany)

KARI (Korea)


NSC (Norway)

UKSA (United Kingdom)

European Space Agency (ESA)


OECD Space Forum Activities in 2017


The Space Forum’s mandate is to investigate the economic dimensions and innovation role of the space sector for the wider economy, to support evidence-based policies. The Forum's original analysis also contribute to broader OECD Committee on Scence and Technology Policy priorities (e.g. digitalisation, emerging technologies for addressing grand challenges).

In 2017, The Space Forum Secretariat carries on its core missions: economic research, updating databases and indicators (with further work on innovation indicators, and downstream sector mapping in co-ordination with members), and continuing studies on evaluation and impact assessment by producing dedicated OECD working papers. Two new particular lines of research are launched in  2017: more research on space technology transfers (definitions, indicators, evaluation) and research on the LEO economy, examining the economic rationales and policies that can support -or not- the development of the low-Earth orbit (LEO) economy. The OECD Space Forum will also contribute substance to a large-scale OECD-wide horizontal project on the Digitalisation of the Economy. 

Selected Meetings (in addition to other events organised by partner organisations):

  • 21 June 2017 (CNES, Paris): Joint Seminar with the SATTO Group (Space Agency Technology Transfer Officers Group) –Technology Transfer and Commercialisation (TTC) from Space Programmes : Enabling Conditions, Processes and Economic Impacts
  • 22-23 June 2017 (OECD, Paris): Workshop - Economic and Innovation Indicators in the Space Economy
  • 26 October 2017 (OECD, Paris): Workshop - Satellite data and the digitalisation of the economy.
  • 27 October 2017 (OECD, Paris): Annual meeting of the Space Forum Steering Group
  • Date and location TBD (North America or Europe), International workshop on the LEO economy
  • Meetings with national administrations, agencies and industry associations conducted thoughout the year 

News and Events

* On 12 April 2017, the OECD Space Forum contributed via teleconference some perspectives on open science to the United Nations / Italy Expert Meeting on the Open Universe Initiative. The meeting was held in Rome, in the facilities of the Italian space agency (ASI). The “Open Universe” initiative is an important international step led by the UN COPUOS and ASI for expanding availability and accessibility of space science data.  

* 7-8 February 2017: The OECD Space Forum Secretariat shared its experience in working with the space community during the annual meeting of the OECD Environment Policy Commitee (EPOC), in the session "The role of geospatial data in improving environmental information". The OECD is currently working with earth observation data providers and key partners to develop its geospatial data capacity.

The OECD became an Observer to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) that will hold its GEO-XIII Ministerial in Saint Petersburg, on Nov. 9-10, 2016. 

The OECD Space Forum held on 27 October 2016 an international symposium on Innovation and the Space Sector, which assembled some +150 participants from 26 countries. The new OECD report Space and Innovation was launched during the event, with an introduction by OECD Deputy Secretary General Doug Frantz, and keynotes and speeches from heads of space agencies, CEOs, and directors from public and private organisations. The symposium was held back to back with the annual meeting of the OECD Space Forum Steering Group, which discussed the workplan for 2017 after reviewing the activities of a busy 2016.   

The OECD Space Forum organised on 9/10 June a workshop on Innovation and Downstream Space Activities, in cooperation with the European Space Agency at the agency's ECSAT Center in Harwell, UK. The event gathered some 80 participants from agencies, ministries, industry (including SMEs and startups) and industry associations, with  discussions on new services and products, the big data paradigm, economic models and policy support for innovation specifically in dowstream activities. 

The OECD Space Forum and UKSA organised an original workshop on Innovation and Low Cost Access to Space on May 12-13, 2016 in OECD. The event assembled some 80 participants from North America, Asia and Europe, to discuss the changing paradigm and innovation trends in space access (space transportation systems, in-orbit systems like small satellite), new production and organisational processes being set up around the world, new economic drivers like constellations, and needed policy mix to manage and sustain innovation. 

* The OECD Space Forum held a ground-breaking workshop on the value of geospatial information on March 10-11th, in cooperation with the GeoValue community with NASA and USGS. Some 80 experts assembled to share methodologies, case studies and best practices in OECD.

* The IAF Space Economy Technical Committee met at the International Astronautical Congress in Jerusalem, on Oct. 12th 2015, with a dedicated economic session “E 3.3 The space economy: what are the socio-economic impacts?” with 12 papers, held on Oct. 14th.

* The OECD Space Forum hosted its annual Steering Group meeting on Oct. 9th. It was preceded by an expert meeting of the Coordination Group on Meteorological Satellite’s tiger team on socio-economic benefits hosted for the first time by the OECD, on the 7th and by a OECD workshop on “Institutional support for space programme: practices around the world”, on the 8th.

* The OECD Space Forum has contributed a presentation on innovation and entrepreneurship in the space sector at the IAF Global Space Innovation Conference (GLIC 2015), held in Munich, 23-24 June 2015.

* Two ground-breaking OECD workshops on space activities’ taxonomy and the value chains of earth observation were held on 21 and 22 May, hosted respectively by ESA and by CNES in Paris. The findings will be feeding into the future revised OECD Handbook on Measuring the Space Economy. Some twenty countries were represented at both events and the consultation process with the space community and beyond continues.

* The OECD Space Forum was invited to present recent findings on global value chains in the space sector at the 31st Space Symposium, held at Colorado Springs, USA, in April 2015.

* The IAF Space Economy Technical Committee met on 24 March in Paris and discussed industrial surveys and new activities. A dozen excellent papers were also selected for the forthcoming annual economic session to be held at the International Astronautical Congress in Jerusalem, in October 2015.