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World Economic Forum Report Paints Bright Future for the Space Economy

By Mark Holmes | April 10, 2024

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The global space economy could be worth close to $2 trillion by 2035. This is according to a new World Economic Forum report released this week. The report says it expects the sector’s valuation to surge up to $1.8 trillion by 2035 and be roughly rival the size and reach of the global semiconductor industry – with space technologies expected to become as ubiquitous to everyday life as semiconductors are today. A new report: ‘Space: The $1.8 Trillion Opportunity for Global Economic Growth’ was developed in partnership between the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Company.

\The report predicts that space will be a key part of the global economy by 2035. It says this growth of the space industry will largely be built upon the increased reach of space-based and/or -enabled technologies, such as communications, positioning, navigation and timing, and Earth Observation (EO).

The report also pinpoints the fact that Space will become more about connecting people and goods. It predicts that supply chain and transportation, food and beverage, state-sponsored defence, retail, consumer goods and lifestyle, and digital communications industries will generate more than 60 percent of the increase in the space economy by 2035. Nine other industries will create opportunities for traditional and non-traditional players alike.

The report also believes that Space’s impact will increasingly go beyond space itself. It predicts the share of the total space economy captured by incumbent space hardware and service providers will gradually decrease to the benefit of non-traditional players such as ride-hailing apps, which would never have reached the global scale they have without satellite-based technology connecting drivers and riders and providing navigation services.

Unsurprisingly, the report says space will play an increasingly crucial role in mitigating world challenges, ranging from disaster warning and climate monitoring to improved humanitarian response and more widespread prosperity.

“Businesses in a growing variety of sectors, such as agriculture, construction, insurance, climate change mitigation, can and will all be drivers of the new and expanding space economy. By understanding and embracing the full potential of space, public and private industry players can position themselves as leaders in the space economy, unlocking long-term benefits,” Ryan Brukardt, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, said in a statement.