ACCESS.SPACE Alliance Says European Space Startups Lack Funding, Customers and Contracts

LONDON, 18 October 2021 (ACCESS.SPACE Alliance PR) – ACCESS.SPACE Alliance, which represents the small satellite sector, has published a position paper on the current state of space financing. In the paper, ACCESS.SPACE Alliance states that start-ups and SMEs often lack customers and contracts to support their business and face difficulties in participating in large or long-term space programs at European and national levels. It also remains difficult for space business, especially for start-ups and SMEs which often do not have dedicated resources, to navigate through even the available funding opportunities.

ACCESS.SPACE further points out that the number of space-related companies and the amounts of public and private investments in other regions of the world are often higher than in Europe. However, very few countries have developed comprehensive directories of space-related entities and there is little visibility in terms of the number of companies, employment, investments, growth and ownership and control.

Betty Bonnardel, founder and board member of ACCESS.SPACE, said: “It is necessary to properly finance the space ecosystem and agree on concrete actions to support space-related start-ups. This is why ACCESS.SPACE Alliance proposes a number of policy actions to tackle these issues with a sense of urgency”.

ACCESS.SPACE recommends the adoption of an innovation strategy for New Space, encompassing access to private and public capital and continue providing all needed support for start-ups and SMEs. It also suggests to increase the number of funding entities (venture capital firms, private equity firms and business angels) to bridge the “valley of death” and focus on the areas where Europe can lead. To improve access to funding, ACCESS.SPACE also recommends the creation of an official ‘one-stop-shop’ web site granting access to all European public funding programmes with digital tools to facilitate access and provide guidance.

Position Paper

The position paper is a result of the views expressed during the ACCESS.SPACE Alliance webinar on space financing (April 22, 2021), attended by representatives of the EC, EIF, EIB, ESA and the private sector, and the second ACCESS.SPACE conference in May this year, which also included a session on financing the small space sector.

Download Position Paper


The ACCESS.SPACE Alliance is an international industry body uniting the small satellite sector formed to promote a viable and self-sustaining ecosystem and to encourage and advocate for the development of the same. We comment with authority and credibility on behalf of our members on policy as well as technical and commercial issues related to the small satellite industry. We foster collaboration by creating dialogue and awareness, address key issues to develop the sector and promote policies and standards on matters that concern and benefit our members.