The transfer of space technologies brings real benefits in many ways. Space technologies are already being used to enhance the life and wellbeing of ordinary citizens through, for example:
- healthcare products
- improved waste management
- water recovery
Space technologies can also be used by manufacturers to create, modify or improve new and existing components and products which, in turn, provide industry, commercial users and ultimately the general public with a wider choice of robust and reliable goods.
Technology transfer also strengthens European industry by identifying new business opportunities for providers of space technology and systems. This contributes to enhancing the know-how and competitiveness of these providers, as they broaden their business area and re-focus their space technologies and systems to serve several different fields.
In addition, technology transfer promotes the wider use and awareness of space technology and systems. While some spin-offs and projects do not necessarily and immediately result in tangible social and health benefits, they may still result in safety benefits in specialized sectors.
Space technologies are used by the motor racing, sailing and skiing communities, and sports fans can see their favourite teams and competitors gain an edge through the improvements resulting from space-based technologies.
Technology transfer has other less obvious benefits. For instance, in the context of European space activities, technology transfer can:
- ease the burden imposed on public resources through research and development (R&D) by adapting technologies, systems and know-how developed in the space sector to uses and applications in the non-space sector
- maximise the return on investment in ESA’s space research by its Member States
- minimise the duplication of research between the space and non-space sector
- provide cross-disciplinary opportunities for researchers to collaborate with other organisations
- provide economic potential and motivation for both technology donors and technology receivers where the social impact is high and the potential market is large.
Technology transfer brings economic benefits by increasing revenues for both technology donors and receivers.