ESTABLISH COMMERCIAL SPACE FLIGHTS is a EU project run by Progressum, the business development company in Kiruna. The project mainly has the character of a preliminary study-, information- and anchoring project with the objective to get as many different actors as possible engaged in establishing commercial spaceflights from Spaceport Sweden, in Kiruna.
September 2009 to December 2011
Partners involved in the project
SSC (Swedish Space Corporation)
Swedavia, Kiruna Airport
Lulea University of Technology
The County of Norrbotten
Norrbotten county council
Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth – Tillväxtverket
The Municipality of Kiruna
The foundation of Längman (Längmanska fonden)
A short summary description of the project
Commercial spaceflight is a new emerging industry. Governments and companies worldwide are currently mobilising to capitalise on the opportunities that the second space age will bring.
With the growth and development of commercial spaceflight, new opportunities for innovation within science and technology will be created. It will further shape new platforms for business development and innovation across other industries creating unforeseen opportunities. This may in turn contribute to economic growth, job creation and inspire young people to pursue careers in the field contributing to regional attraction enabling both regions and companies to grow and build for the future.
The project “Establish commercial spaceflight – Spaceport Sweden” aims to capitalise on this development and establish this new industry in Kiruna, Norrbotten County and Sweden.
Another goal within the project is to further develop the infrastructure necessary to transform Kiruna airport in to a fully functioning spaceport – enabling Spaceport Sweden to become Europe’s gateway to space.
Established over 50 years ago, SpaceCity Kiruna hosts international space research and commercial services such as rocket and balloon launches, monitoring and control of satellites, testing of new space and flight systems and an array of different ground facilities for measurements in space. Realising the potential to further develop commercial spaceflight the work with Spaceport Sweden was initiated and further inaugurated in January 2007 by Ms. Maud Olofsson, the Swedish Minister of Enterprise and Energy, at Kiruna Airport.
By creating a strong business network and cluster of participants including private companies, the public sector and academic institutions, the project aims to develop new products and services. This may in turn enable participating stakeholders to build on the business opportunities which will be created on a regional, national and international basis.
With Spaceport Sweden, as Europe’s gateway to space, Norrbotten County, Sweden and Europe now have an opportunity and a challenge to be a part of an exciting global development, creating new opportunities for regional and national growth, enabling SME’s to increase their international access and co-operation.
The key objectives
The project has both the character of a preliminary study and anchoring initiative as well as a commercial focus with the objective to create business opportunities attracting new business as well as leverage regional, national and international opportunities among current and new potential partners.
The overall objectives are;
• Conduct preliminary, feasibility, benchmark, regulatory and scenario studies to increase the level of knowledge and identify key success factors
• Develop and implement a strategic business plan for Spaceport Sweden
• Develop and establish the brand Spaceport Sweden and a co-branding strategy
• Develop a strategy for strategic alliances
• Develop and establish relationships and commercial co-operation with space operators
• Further strengthen and widen the co-operation between participating private companies, academic institutions and the public sector
• Identify and present the opportunities the establishment will pose to further attract investments and competence to Spaceport Sweden
• Establish Spaceport Sweden based on a well thought-out sustainability perspective
• Strengthen local, regional, national and international anchoring through seminars and conferences
• Initiate decision processes for infrastructure investments in Spaceport Sweden
• Establish and strengthen co-operation with other development projects
• Through continuous information and marketing, make Spacport Sweden visible and market the ongoing process and opportunities by creating a positive image through online and offline activities
• Initiate and develop cross-border connections and innovations together with other branches are to be identified and strengthened
• Investigate the demand and criteria for Space Visitor Centers
The project is still within its first year and has initially focused on conducting preliminary studies. Feasibility studies, market assessments, benchmarking against other spaceports as well as identifying the regulatory framework applicable are being undertaken. The business plan and brand development are also ongoing, building for further business development and creation of extended strategic alliances.
The County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, including the governor, Mr. Per-Ola Ericson, is a supporter and a strategic partner in the project and space as an industry is part of the Regional Development Programme 2007-2013.
Spaceport Sweden has further been invited to be part of the development of a new vision and strategy for space in Sweden. The aim to identify and further present to the politicians the existing industry and future opportunities for Sweden as a technology, knowledge and arena for innovation. A necessity for Sweden to attract more business, talents and investments to further grow and create more jobs as a nation in a competitive environment.
International co-operation has also been established with the two leading players in this emerging new industry; Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America. During the first 50 years of the first space age, about 450 humans have been in space. Virgin Galactic expects to launch 50 000 space tourists in the first 10 years, starting from Spaceport America in 2012, followed by Spaceport Sweden a few years later.