Under the auspices of the Czech Ministry of Transport, great strides have been made in pushing the space industry of the country. The Czech Republic’s tradition in the utilization of space for scientific purposes has undergone an evolution in its six decades of existence, representative of the great political, economic, and social changes the country itself was facing. Part of this evolution is the acknowledgement that space-related activities can be a unique tool for influencing economic development.
ESA and EUSPA
In establishing space-related activity as a viable investment, the Czech Republic has contributed 57.5M euro to ESA in 2021, more than three times that of their contribution just five years prior. This in itself can be seen as a strong indicator of progress in the space economy. Coupled with an ever-growing number of companies pursuing space-related endeavours and the establishment of the European GNSS Agency (GSA, later known as EUSPA) seat in Prague, it becomes evident that Czech space has been on the rise and has grown immensely since its accession to ESA in 2004.
Role of Academia
However, the involvement of the academia in all of this cannot be understated. Acknowledging the academic role in the institutionalization of space progress in the country is acknowledging the past heritage of the Czech scientific community and its ability to continue research in space activities throughout the changing economic models within the Czech Republic through the years. This, however, is not without its flaws as the scientific community was presented with the challenge of integrating and cooperating with industry, and in turn the commercialization of its outputs which the Czech National Space Plan addresses as an ongoing process.
Czech National Space Plan
To wit, the Czech National Space Plan iterates this very same drive for growth:
“The development of the Czech space sector is closely tied to European space policies and the strategies of the European Space Agency (ESA) and European Union (EU). The space sector and its activities are no longer only a concern of science. They represent a sector with an immense economic, social, strategic and security potential, which affects all domains of our lives and increase competitiveness and innovative and advanced technology status of the countries involved.”
Recognizing these facts, having a visual representation of Czech space can prove to be useful in seeing trends in development and can add to the tools with which to direct this development.
Mapping the Czech Space Industry in 2022
As there exists no recognized international standard for industry classifications in space, there is very limited comparability when it comes to resources of this sort. This is further complicated by the fact that space economy data is highly fragmented and so there is no easily accessible single resource that collates such a diverse array of information. Therefore, this Space ecosystem map builds upon the work Groundstation.Space has done earlier this year in mapping the Dutch space ecosystem.
In mapping the space ecosystem in the Czech Republic, 108 organizations have been identified through the publicly accessible sources listed below. These organizations were then categorized according to three main segments (upstream, downstream, and other services) and further subcategorized into 19 sectors.
Breaking them down into relevant sectors we see that Upstream is the largest of the three with 47 of all the identified organizations falling under this segment, 20 of which are involved in the production and manufacturing of components and relevant subsystems, making this the largest sector in the current iteration of the space map. This is followed by Design and Development with 13 organizations.
A point of interest is the size of the Space Education sector. With 11 organizations, 7 of which are the Czech Space Academy and its constituent organizations, it stands as the third largest sector, reaffirming the country’s interest in investing in, and growing its position in the space economy.
Download the Czech Space Industry Ecosystem Map 2022
You can download the map through the button above or clicking this link.
Sources and Acknowledgements
This space ecosystem map was made in partnership with the Brno Space Cluster, whose on-the-ground expertise was of immense service towards portraying as accurate a map as possible.
Publicly accessible resources used to create this map are:
- ESA Entities Directory for the Czech Republic
- ESA BIC CZ Incubatees and Alumni
- EARSC Members List
- Czech Republic Successful in ESA Catalogue vol. 2021