Norway's space industry sees solid returns

Each krone invested in the Norwegian space industry yields a return of almost 5 kroner, shows a report from the Norwegian Space Centre.


The report, Norsk industri og ESA-deltakelse 1985-2012, includes 28 companies and institutes and analyzes the effect of investments in the Norwegian space industry from the European Space Agency ESA's projects via support money or contracts won.

The results show that each krone the Norwegian space companies received yielded 4,8 krone in return, a revenue of 480 percent.

"This is a very high return and demonstrates that the Norwegian space businesses invested in the right projects and the right technologies at the right time," says Rune Eriksen, head of industrial coordination at the Norwegian Space Centre, who performed the analysis.

Appropriate positioning in the market

According to Eriksen the solid returns are also caused by the appropriate presentation and positioning of the Norwegian companies in the very competitive international space industry.

SvalSat, KSAT's ground station on Svalbard, is the world's busiest ground station. Photo: KSAT

In 2007 ESA and the EU initiated two large-scale space projects, the new European satellite navigation system Galileo and Copernicus (formerly GMES), a programme for monitoring of the global environment and climate.

Several Norwegian space companies, including Kongsberg Satellite Services, Kongsberg Norspace, and Kongsberg Seatex won major contracts in these projects.

"That might not have happened if Norway hadn't taken an active role in these industry projects," Eriksen adds.

Larger investments yield bigger returns

Larger projects mean bigger support sums and contracts, and both have increased since 2007.

However, the high return factor for the Norwegian space industry has nevertheless kept up with the increased support and contract numbers.

The yields for products and services outside of the space sector have also been considerable.

The physics experiment AMS-02 (top middle) is attached to the international space station to detect dark matter and dark energy. Photo: NASA/AMS-02 Collaboration

- These are important because the space industry is a small market relative to others and if the companies can reuse or transfer the space technology to products or services suitable for other sectors, their yield increases greatly, says Eriksen.

The yield factor for the Norwegian space companies has been high for the previous three years, and according to the companies the trend is expected to continue also in the years ahead.

Download the report from the Norwegian Space Centre here (in Norwegian only).


Rune Eriksen - head of industrial coordination at the Norwegian Space Centre - (+47) 22511814 / 90142456