The recent evolution of the global space sector, characterised by an increased commercialisation of space activities and an overall greater maturity of the private space industry, represents a great opportunity for space agencies to revisit and enhance some of their long-standing modes of operation, in particular with regard to their interaction with the private sector.

This ESPI research investigates the way in which space agencies and the private sector interact for the implementation of space programmes, focusing on traditional procurement and public-private partnership models, with the aim of elaborating on how space agencies in the European context could increasingly benefit from this on-going dynamic for the achievement of their institutional mission.

More in detail, the report provides an overview of the historical mandate, role and models of selected space agencies, identifying their core tasks and responsibilities; outlines the characteristics of the New Space dynamic and Space 4.0 concept for the evolving “spacescape”; analyses the typical and emerging models and approaches of procurement between space agencies and private entities, identifying the merits and limits of such models; and concludes by providing reflections and recommendations on how to rethink the customer-provider relationship between agencies and industry.

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