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Italy and the Challenges of Space: Between Space Economy, International Cooperation and Cybersecurity


Recent developments in the space sector pose many challenges and offer just as many opportunities for a country that boasts capabilities as advanced as Italy. This paper provides an overview of the main issues that Italy’s national space complex will face, starting from the increasing global competition, the strategic decisions to be taken regarding international collaborations and alliances, but also related to the sustainable growth of the Italian space economy in a historical moment characterised by a considerable injection of funds, for instance in the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and of the European Space Agency optional programmes. The analysis starts with an overview of the national space complex, between innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, the authors offer an in-depth look at the national space economy and related trends. The second part of the study is dedicated to an overview of the collaboration with the United States and to analysing recent developments in the European space governance, including the EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence. The third and final part highlights the issue of cybersecurity of space systems, considering risks and vulnerabilities, and the current national governance in this area.

Study prepared in the framework of the project “Strategic competition in Space and space economy: challenges and opportunities for Italy”. It has benefited from the financial support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation pursuant to art. 23-bis of Presidential Decree 18/1967.

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