Evolution of Innovation Mechanisms to Support the Post-2030 Agenda Goals: Case Study on the European Space Exploration Programme
At European Union (EU) level, the importance of innovation is a key factor to European competitiveness in the global economy, undergoing deep transformation driven by innovative technologies and new business models. A key objective of the European Commission (EC) is to “foster a globally competitive and innovative European space sector” to maintain and further strengthen a world-class capacity to develop and exploit space systems, opening up new opportunities to develop innovative products and services which can benefit the industry in all Member States. The new business and innovation ecosystem are supported at the European, regional and national levels by creating space hubs with the objective to open space up to non-space entrants. Innovation derived from space exploration, fosters economic growth and delivers high returns on investment. The involvement of space exploration applications to sustain the innovation and technological advancement goal could be proposed and achieved in the post-2030 Agenda by government, the private sector, civil society and individuals for a sustainable future. Currently, the European Space Agency (ESA) strategy outlines the long-term planning for Europe’s participation in space exploration activities and is looking for innovative cases with a tangible business performance that can be matched with the innovation and technological advancement goal after 2030. Directly or indirectly, European space exploration activities could contribute to new knowledge and technical innovations, stimulating the creation of tangible benefits for Earth.