• The future of the Korea’s industrial development lies with space industry
    2021-09-30 hit 432

    The future of the Korea’s industrial development lies with space industry

    - A KITA report highlights the need for “private companies to seek innovation in technology and cost-effectiveness, while the government should seek to strengthen private sector engagement and expand budget for the space industry”



    A recently released report stressed the significance of the space industry ? a core sector with the potential of producing values in the future.


    Chun-il Park, the President for Institute for International Trade at Korea International Trade Association (KITA) released a report titled “Key trends and implications led by the change of the space industry value chain” on September 14th and indicated the following five points ? a) an expansion of private investment, b) more commercial business models, c) innovations in technology and cost-effectiveness, d) an expansion of the role of satellites and its demand and e) increased competition among nations in the space sector ? as key trends in the space industry.


    The space industry was long dominated by governments. However, with aggressive investments and engagement by the private sector in the recent years, more commercial business models are becoming universal, such as establishing high-speed internet networks by utilizing satellites and introducing spaceships for air transport and space travel. Innovations in relevant technologies and lowered cost are leading to greater economic feasibility of the space industry. This is translating into the demand and the use of satellite industry being expanded from satellite imagery and weather forecast sectors to telecommunications, investigation/observation, transportation and national defense. This translates into the expansion of use and demand of satellite industry: from satellite imagery and weather forecast to telecommunications, investigation/observation, transportation and national defense.


    The report says, “The size of the satellite industry, which accounts for 73% of the space industry, has seen a 1.6-fold increase during the past decade” and added, “A slight downturn since 2018 is the result of technological innovations translating into cost-effectiveness, instead of an overall decline of the industry.” The report also mentioned, “Ultra-augmented reality services such as self-driving, drone services, city airport mobility and hologram displays can be rolled out once satellite-based high-speed telecommunication (sixth-generation cellular network) becomes a reality.”


    The report predicted, “Relevant markets are expected to see an exponential growth as competition among satellite-related companies, such as Space X and OneWeb, will start in full swing in the high-speed Internet market.” The report also forecasted, “Eight-hours travel time between New York City and London will be dramatically cut to 29 minutes if rockets can be utilized in travel and delivery” and added, “The existing paradigm of travel and freight transport will see a fundamental change with same-day delivery and one-day travel becoming a reality.”


    These factors illustrate the fundamental necessity of the space industry in the future across all sectors of the industry. An estimate predicts that the global space industry will grow from a $371 billion (approx. KRW 423 trillion) market in 2020 to a $1.1 trillion market (approx. KRW 1286 trillion) by 2040. As of 2019, Korea’s space industry only accounts for 1% of global market size with approx. KRW 3.931 trillion, which means a more aggressive move is needed to support Korea’s space industry.


    Senior Researcher Kwi-il Jung from KITA mentioned, “The space industry is witnessing improved productivity and successful business models with greater interest and aggressive engagement of global players after many years of stalled innovation in the space industry.” He said, “Private companies should enhance their competitiveness through innovations in technology and cost-effectiveness” and added, “The government should allocate more budget to attract companies to take interest in the space industry and introduce legal grounds to support this industry.”

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