Satellite Bulletin: Polish Space Industry: New Opportunities

01 October 2015

Joanne Wheeler, Natalia Zebrowska

A new chapter for the Polish space sector opened when the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) was established on 26 September 2014.     

Polish space industry
A new chapter for the Polish space sector opened when the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) was established in 26 September 2014. With its headquarters currently established in Gdańsk and two regional offices planned in Warsaw and Rzeszów, POLSA is tasked with stimulating the growth of the Polish aeronautics industry.

Commencing operations in February 2015, the main role of POLSA entails providing support to Polish companies, universities and research institutes towards successful participation in programmes funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), European Commission (in particular Horizon 2020), EUMETSAT, and the European Defence Agency.

The Polish space industry was further boosted by the accession of Poland as a full member of ESA in 2012. This allows Polish entities to participate in ESA programmes, and enables closer cooperation with their European counterparts. Although the full supply chain is not yet adequately developed, several Polish entities are recognised providers of components and niche technological solutions.

In this context the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Science has a leading role. Recent highlights include the launch of Poland's first satellite “Lem” (November 2013), followed by “Heweliusz” (August 2014). These science satellites were launched as part of the “BRIght Target Explorer (BRITE)-Constellation” project in cooperation with entities from Canada and Austria.

Regulatory landscape
The regulatory landscape for the Polish space industry is defined in the "Programme of activities for the development of space technologies and use of the satellite systems in Poland" agreed by the Council of Ministers in June 2012 and "The National Plan for the development of the Space Sector in Poland 2014-2020". Among the top policy priorities are fostering the participation of Polish entities in international collaboration and facilitating the use of available funds.

Opportunities in Poland
The EC is about to announce the official Horizon 2020 work programme 2016-2017 ; the subject of the Space Information Days held in Warsaw on 28-29 September 2015.
ESA has recently announced two calls with the focus on Poland:

The “ EO Innovation Platform Testbed Poland ”. The prime contractor must be based in Poland and 90% of its activities must be executed by Polish entities.

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