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Space activities play a key role in security and the green and digital transitions

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 25.3.2022 15.34
Press release
Kuva avaruudesta

Space activities are very important for the functioning of people’s daily lives and society. An event organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment focused on the impacts of space activities on the major questions of our time, such as climate change and security. The invited guests also discussed how the EU’s international competitiveness can be secured amid the rapid development of the sector and how companies can be supported in the development of innovations and technologies.

On Friday 25 March, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment organised an event to discuss the social and economic opportunities of space activities.

“Space activities in Finland are based on our solid expertise in science, technology and application development. Space and space technology play an increasingly important role in people’s daily lives and in the activities and development of our society,” Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä said in his opening speech.

A study on the impacts of space activities published by the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities (VN TEAS) was presented at the event. Space technology and the applications it enables are used in industry, banking and commerce. A disruption in space activities could have serious impacts on the everyday functioning of society and people’s daily lives.

EU must join forces to keep up with international competition

The panel discussion focused on the impacts that space has on the EU’s competitiveness, businesses, the green transition, digitalisation and security. The panellists emphasised the need to strengthen cooperation within the EU so that the Union can keep pace with the development of the sector and secure its competitiveness internationally.

The panellists included Josef Aschbacher, Director General of the European Space Agency ESA, Nina Kopola, Director General of Business Finland, Rafal Modrzewski, Chief Executive of ICEYE, Ville Niinistö, Member of the European Parliament, and Timo Pesonen, Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space.

Both Aschbacher and Pesonen stressed that together the EU and ESA make a strong player in the space sector. Through cooperation, the EU and ESA will be able to develop the space sector to serve all sectors of society even better than now.

Several panellists highlighted the role of companies in space activities. In his presentation, Antti Vasara, CEO of VTT, also highlighted the important role of smaller companies and start-ups in the development of new space technology.

Business Finland and ESA sign a letter of intent for an innovation lab in Finland

In connection with the event, Business Finland and ESA signed a letter of intent on establishing a Φ-innovation lab in Finland. Φ-lab is a concept created by ESA that aims to support the development of innovations in the sector.

According to Business Finland’s Director General Nina Kopola, Finland already conducts excellent research in the space sector. The objective of Business Finland is to help companies turn research into innovations and commercialise them. 

Jenni Tapio, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 089
Tuija Ypyä, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 062 115
Leila Vilhunen, Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 120 (EU and international affairs)

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