The development of the space sector was the subject of debate during the National Economic Summit in Lublin. The event was attended by President of the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) and a representative of the Polish Space Industry Association (SPACE PL).

Representatives of the administration and the industry met during the panel debate „Development, investments, innovations”. The debate took place on October 5 this year in the frame of the fifth edition of the Summit. This is the second year in a row when the subject of the space industry has found its place on the agenda of the Lublin congress.

Stable sources of financing as a source of development for our sector

Tomasz Zapalski representing the SPACE PL emphasized that the future of the space sector depends on stable sources of financing. He noted that the European Space Agency (ESA) is currently (and will be) the main source of funds for the space industry. It generates contracts for the Polish companies. According to estimates of the SPACE PL and Ministry of Development, the Polish entities have taken part in 15 ESA missions and the total value of turnover from contracts with this organization amounted to PLN 94.2 million. The SPACE PL official underlined that due to the recent reduction of the optional contribution to the ESA, the number of contracts will be smaller. Therefore, an additional stimulus is needed to develop the sector. – It could be the National Space Program. We hope that, under the leadership of President Szaniawski, this project will be completed – said the representative of the SPACE PL, addressing the President of POLSA who was present at the debate.

Tomasz Zapalski pointed out that 2012 (Poland’s accession to ESA) was a turning point from which we can talk about the emergence of the Polish space sector. – Since then, a lot of companies have been established, new technologies have been developing, the Polish companies are participating in subsequent space missions. We can see this growth, for instance, in the number of the SPACE PL members. In 2012, there were 19 entities, now there are 72 – he said.

President Paweł Szaniawski emphasized that the conquest of space leads to new technologies. – Space exploration, which generates the space industry, means that companies must develop technologies at the highest level. In the aftermath, these technologies are usually used in other sectors of the economy. They are the result of the most advanced engineering works which are to ensure the reliability of these devices in space. Then, such innovative products enter the commercial market. Along with the improvement of products and procedures, the specialized staff is developed, not only in engineering but also in the management, said Paweł Szaniawski.

PAK wants to cooperate with the Americans

The Polish Space Agency was awarded the statuette of Amber of the Polish Economy for its achievements in the field of international cooperation. The organizers appreciated the activity of the POLSA in obtaining the EU funds as well as multi-and bilateral cooperation. The POLSA informs that it wants to cooperate with NASA. In 2019, the Agency signed an intention letter with the Americans and it is counting on closer collaboration. – We are currently working on an agreement (on cooperation – from the editor) with this Agency. NASA is implementing the Artemis – a large program which involves redirecting the area of ​​Earth’s activity to the Moon, explained President Szaniawski. During his speech, he also talked about an agreement with the US Strategic Command (US STRAT COM) which stipulates the Polish-US data exchange data on space observation with the assistance of sensors placed on Earth. – The infrastructure that we already have as a country (both owned by private companies or scientific units) because of its modernity and geographic location, provides very valuable data, he emphasized.

The POLSA also encourages companies and R&D entities to participate in future bids for the supply of technologies or devices within the Space Safety Program. It is aimed at protecting the space infrastructure against old satellites that had finished the activity. The purpose of the Programme is to work out methods of deorbiting damaged satellites from Earth’s orbit. At the end of September, ESA officials and experts visited Warsaw, explaining the principles of the Program to the Polish entities and presenting details of the ESA planned missions.