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Strategic competition in Space and space economy: challenges and opportunities for Italy

2022 - 2023

In the confrontation between powers, space has played an essential role in the past and strategic competition continues to characterize the space environment, perceived by world powers as the "higher ground" in which to seek competitive advantages. Kinetic and non-kinetic threats to assets and space services grow, the latter remaining vulnerable for example to cyber-attacks. The conflict in Ukraine started in February 2022 highlighted the role of space infrastructures and the use of satellite services, especially for communication and earth observation. The technological, innovation and industrial aspects play a fundamental role in this dynamic, which proves to be key for the future positioning of institutional players, but also of private and commercial ones, especially considering the expanding space economy.

In this context, IAI aims to analyse the dynamics of strategic competition in space, which also affects space exploration, and human exploration of and returning to the Moon, while new players and innovative technologies emerge. The study is a follow-up of the first project “The strategic nature of space for global and Italian security”, which ended in June 2022. The research will address, among other aspects, the issues of cyber-security of space infrastructures and the challenges and opportunities posed by space economy.

Funding: Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo

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