Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson has said that “Swedish aerospace activities have a strong position in the world, thanks to research excellence and successful industry. We will continue on this path. Investment in space activities is ultimately an investment in our planet,”
The Government is now presenting a national strategy to strengthen Sweden’s space activities, centred on benefits for society.
Swedish space research is outstanding. For this to remain true, funds need to be used effectively. Collaboration between the Swedish National Space Board, the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning and Vinnova must therefore increase in space research, climate and environment research and innovation in the business sector. The Swedish National Space Board and the Swedish Research Council will also work together to spread information about space research so as to increase the recruitment of women and men to science and technology.
Activities at Esrange will continue to be modernised to serve as a strategic resource for national and international research, development, demonstration, test activities and other space-related activities. The facility also has the potential to develop into a rocket launch test facility.
Space researchers should have access to appropriate infrastructure, such as large-scale measuring instruments, either in space or on the ground.
Large amounts of data are received from the many satellites in orbit around Earth. Space data can contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the Global Goals, for example, by detecting plastic waste in the ocean, or assessing the extent of damage caused by war or natural disasters, or of crop failures. Through international cooperation, Swedish space activities will contribute to global environmental and climate monitoring.
Sweden’s expanded presence in space requires tailored regulations. The Government will therefore review the Space Activities Act.
The high functionality required of space industry products in the extreme conditions of space pushes the boundaries of innovation and manufacturing. Knowledge acquired can then be used in other areas, such as the aerospace and automotive industry, digitalisation, automation and materials technology, which in turn will strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness.
The high cost of space systems infrastructure necessitates international cooperation. The Government therefore aims for Swedish participation in major international space projects and ESA’s space activities.
Why the Government is investing in space
Swedish space activities are a strategic asset for the development of the knowledge society. It is important that they be conducted in a way that promotes research, development and innovation, and contributes to the creation of high-tech jobs. This will increase Sweden’s competitiveness.