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Defence Industry and Space
News article24 January 20242 min read

DEFIS - EIB- ESA partner to strengthen the European space sector

Timo Pesonen (DEFIS),Josef Aschbacher (ESA),  Kris Peeters (EIB)
Timo Pesonen (DEFIS),Josef Aschbacher (ESA), Kris Peeters (EIB)

This year’s edition of the Space Policy Conference witnessed the signing of a collaborative agreement among the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the European Space Agency (ESA) with the goal of strengthening the European space sector, particularly SMEs and start-ups, and bolstering Europe's standing in the space sector.

This tripartite collaboration is designed to promote synergy and coordination, with a specific emphasis on offering financial and advisory support to European space companies. The joint effort is geared towards enhancing access to finance, promoting innovation, facilitating knowledge exchange, and catalysing the advancement of cutting-edge space technologies. By pooling their collective expertise, resources, and networks, the three institutions aspire to propel Europe's space industry to new heights, fostering innovation, economic expansion, and strategic autonomy.

In addition, the collaboration is set to play a crucial role in removing obstacles and simplifying the process of obtaining financial and advisory services. It also aims to guarantee that European space companies possess the essential resources required to transform their innovative concepts into reality.

Timo Pesonen, Director-General of DG-DEFIS at the European Commission, stated, "Access to finance is crucial for companies, whatever their stage of development. With our CASSINI Space Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Commission already provides a big boost to our New Space ecosystem by facilitating access to finance to space start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs. Yet, access to debt funding remains challenging. Today, we are joining forces with the EIB and ESA to try to fix the issue. Europe is now the hub for space entrepreneurship. We need to preserve this and continue supporting our industrial ecosystem to grow, innovate, and capture new markets globally.”

Kris Peeters, Vice President of the European Investment Bank said, "As the financial investment arm of the European Union, the EIB is committed to supporting projects aligned with EU policy objectives. We are thrilled to collaborate with the European Commission and ESA to provide strategic financing solutions and advisory services aimed at empowering European space companies and enabling them to thrive in a highly competitive global landscape."

Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General, emphasized the potential of the partnership, stating, "Today's agreement marks a milestone in European space collaboration. The convergence of ESA's technical and scientific expertise with the financial acumen and backing of the EIB and the policy support of the European Commission creates a formidable alliance. This partnership is more than just a commitment to collaboration; it is a testament to our shared vision. Together, we are paving the way for ground-breaking advancements and ensuring that European space companies are at the cutting edge of innovation and competitiveness.”


Publication date
24 January 2024