Finns love their space – for a reason
Finland is a true down-to-earth space nation, writes Markus Ranne, in this week’s column.
Space really rocks today. Finnish satellites roam the final frontier and Finland is a space nation. It wasn’t always like that. My own professional life, relating to space, started in 1998 and a lot has changed since. It is still hard to understand how anything else than a satellite costing hundreds of millions of euros built by a massive organisation could enter space.
However, now we are starting to see how swarms of affordable microsatellites can help ships to navigate in harsh environments and autonomously, provide data of crop fields and logging areas, and support the fight against climate change. And here, Finland is very well positioned.
The rapid and fundamental development of technology has triggered a global revolution in the space industry. Publicly funded national and international projects are no longer the industry standard. Private space infrastructure and commercial services are here to stay. Would you have thought that a Finnish university project results in Finland’s first satellite? Smaller than a shoebox and with an industry-changing impact. A new generation of space professionals has entered the stage in true startup spirit and wants to make business out in space.
“By 2025, Finland is the world’s most attractive and agile space business environment.”
And this is just the beginning. The New Space Economy programme creates increasing opportunities for startups, as well as for more established space companies looking for new markets. Even companies that last year could not have imagined that space could contribute critically to their service portfolio are getting interested.
Finland stated its goal in its recently renewed national space strategy: By 2025, Finland is the world’s most attractive and agile space business environment, which benefits all companies operating here.
This will require an effective public-private partnership bringing together businesses, research and administration. Working together in this way will enable us to build a global hub for everyone to connect to. International co-operation and networks will be a key to our success.
I am truly convinced that New Space Economy is worth investing in, and Finland has shown that a small nation can achieve great heights with focused and systematic work. Finland is a true down-to-earth space nation. Here are some more reasons why.
Originally published in March 2019