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SGC2013 – Industry Working Group (3/4): Internationalization and industrial cooperation

After analyzing the market focus of the industry with the posts of customer focus and entrepreneurship. The working group turned its efforts toward improving operational issues like industry internationalization, industrial cooperation and knowledge management. In this session, the recommendations of the working group on internationalization and industrial cooperation are explained.

One nation alone cannot hope to solve every problem in space technology, whether it is space exploration or satellite communications. In addition, developments in space technology not only aid a single nation or firm, but advance humanity forward. The International Space Station (ISS) is a prime example of the achievements that can be accomplished when international collaborations are utilized. The cost of the ISS runs over $100 billion, an amount that would be unaffordable for any singular nation. However, it has brought a myriad of high tech jobs to Earth, as well as countless advancements in scientific research.  The SGC 2013 Industry Group recommends that international collaborations should be taken advantage of and further invested in.


While the space industry is more global and diffused than ever, young professionals still face legacy regulatory and legal barriers to collaboration with colleagues in other countries. These barriers prevent the industry from reaping the benefits of emerging international networks.


Recommendation 1

Invest in international public-private partnerships to efficiently resolve interface, standards, and other technical issues that individual governments and firms cannot address alone.

Recommendation 2

Take full advantage of new low-cost, small-scale technologies to build international partnerships.

  • Hosted Payloads
  • Small Satellites

Space missions typically have large investments associated with them. Similarly to the ISS, collaborations between nations and firms could lead to reductions in the cost of large scale projects to each individual participant.

One international public-private partnership that the SGC 2013 industry group recommends is to resolve interfaces and standards. One example of standards providing a benefit to the industry is the Consultative Committee for Space Data Standards (CCSDS). Founded in 1982 by a collaboration of major space agencies, it provides a forum for data and information system standards. Standards for space communication protocols, for example, can easily be accessed by all agencies. These standards help to promote interoperability between space agencies and firms. Furthermore, having a multi-member agency for data standards reduces the cost of space missions, as less time needs to be spent developing communications protocols.

Standards and interfaces alone are not the only partnership that nations can take advantage of. Currently, the small satellite industry is becoming a more viable option for many countries and firms to use. These groups may not have the capital or ability to launch on larger satellites, but small satellites provide off-the-shelf technologies at a much cheaper price.

Another low-cost, small-scale technology that can be used to foster international cooperation is hosted payloads. These payloads are attached to satellites, but operate independently of the rest of the spacecraft. Because firms and nations would not have to develop their own satellites, this drastically reduces the cost of a mission. Nations that could benefit from space technology, such as earth imaging, but don’t have a large enough budget to host a satellite could partner with launch-capable nations or companies. In addition, firms that could benefit from space technology could similarly pair with nations or other firms.

Reporting: Nicole Tchorowski. Subject Matter Experts: Paul Guthrie, Alanna Krolikowski. Moderator: Sandra González Díaz. Delegates: Emma Braegen, Cynthia Chen, Zorana Dancuo, Thomas Hobbs, Chung Sheng Huang, Jakob Huesing, Abhijet Kumar, Philipp Maier, Daichi Nakamura, Pavel Paces, Lluc Palerm, Daniel Sagath, Olga Stelmakh, Jan Svoboda, Prater Tracie, Saqib Mehmood, Phillippa Blaber, Luís Ferreira, Felipe Arevalo, Zihua Zhu