Establish commercial spaceflight – Spaceport Sweden
Spaceport Sweden is an initiative establishing a new industry - commercial human spaceflight - in Kiruna, Norrbotten County, Sweden. The early phases of this new industry have seen new business models being created for international cooperation, new research and education, new public procurement practices, new joint partnerships between the public and private sectors, new authorities and new legislation.
"This initiative is a good example of smart specialisation with a global business in sight, involving a strong local partnership, private sector commitment and a memorandum of understanding with US counterparts " – RegioStars Jury 2011
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, driven mainly by private space companies and investors developing technology and access to infrastructure in space. 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 this field, attracting people to the region and enabling both regions and companies to grow and build for the future.
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 inaugurated in January 2007 by Ms Maud Olofsson, the Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Energy, at Kiruna Airport.
The project “Establish commercial spaceflight - Spaceport Sweden” aims to capitalise on this development and establish this new industry with commercial spaceflight infrastructure in Kiruna. A goal within the project is to further develop the infrastructure necessary to transform Kiruna Airport into a fully functioning spaceport – enabling Spaceport Sweden to become Europe’s gateway to space.
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, services, research and education This will position 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 have an opportunity and a challenge to be part of an exciting global development, creating new opportunities for regional and national growth, enabling SMEs to increase their international access and cooperation.