In the future, the main application areas for Finnish space activities will be Arctic solutions and the usage of open-source data material.
The four main fields of Finnish space activity are the scientific exploration of space and Earth, Earth observation satellites, satellite positioning and the space industry. The core of our space activity is formed by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) programmes, in which some 30 Finnish companies and 20 research institutes are presently participating.
Finnish space activities are focusing on:
- Supporting activities in the Arctic region by means of space technology. The Sodankylä-based satellite data centre fortifies research on the Arctic, its natural resources, climate change and environmental safety, while also creating services in the public and private sector.
- Open positioning data enhances the competitive edge of the services. The new Earth observation satellites produce a wealth of information never before available. Combined with the four global positioning satellite networks (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou/Compass, Galileo), it facilitates countless positioning applications.
- The level of scientific research is enhanced through participation in ESA and EU programmes. The international integration of Finnish space research and Earth observation know-how will be further intensified, particularly through ESA and EU programmes.
- Our space industry’s answers to increasing international competition are specialisation and applications. The competitiveness of Finnish space technology enterprises on the international satellite market is being further improved.
A small group of Finnish enterprises designs and manufactures satellite components, structures and software. The number of these companies corresponds to the space industries in other European countries of comparable size. The combined turnover of these enterprises was approximately EUR 13 million in 2011. The estimated annual turnover of domestic enterprises applying space technologies is EUR 240 million.
The strategy has been prepared by the Finnish Space Committee in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (former Ministry of Employment and the Economy). The strategy steers the space activities funded by the Finnish public sector, as well as the development and utilisation of related knowledge and technology. The new strategy paper is the tenth of its kind.