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  • Horizon 2020: a sight to the European entrepreneurial dynamics

    Paper number



    Ms. Rosa Maria Lucia Parrella, Italy, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)


    Ms. Cristiana Cirina, Italy, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)


    Mr. Augusto Cramarossa, Italy, Italian Space Agency (ASI)


    Prof. Amalia Ercoli Finzi, Italy, Politecnico di Milano


    Dr. Marta Albano, Italy, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)



    Horizon 2020 is the largest research and innovation programme ever financed by the European Union, with nearly €80 billion of funding available between 2014 and 2020. The prominent role of Space in the programme is testified by the considerable budget specifically allocated to space-related projects (€1,4 billion) and confirmed by the Horizon 2020 interim evaluation. In particular, the objectives and challenges of LEIT-Space remain highly relevant and are fully in line with the Space Strategy for Europe, adopted by the Commission on 26th October 2016. 
    Horizon 2020 is a key instrument to maximise the benefits of space for society and EU economy and to foster the consolidation of a globally competitive, innovative, and even more autonomous European space industry. The interim evaluation also found that industrial participation in LEIT-Space stands at 53\% with an SME participation around 28\% including the Space part of the SME-instrument, which is far above the 20\% target. Furthermore, there is a healthy influx of new entrants, with around 45\% of the participants which are newcomers from industry.
    The paper employs the available Horizon 2020 data to analyse the behaviour of the participants in space-related calls during the last five years (2014 to 2018). In particular, this study looks for evidence of cooperative behaviours by private companies. 
    As a further step, since a few large industrial groups dominate the European space sector, the authors will explore how they compete among each other or if they cooperate in organising the participation to the calls by their national branches. Moreover, the authors will analyse if the results follow different patterns for specific macro themes of the Space Work Programme (i.e. applications – Copernicus and Galileo-GNSS; and technologies – COMPET and PROTEC). 
    The results of this analysis will offer food for thoughts in terms of industrial, economic and political implications, at European level, in view, also, of the future Innovation and Research Programme Horizon Europe (2021-27).
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-19,E6,2,4,x51838.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.