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New Space Economy Challenge

New Space Economy Challenge aimed to gather space-related ideas and encourage consortiums to prepare joint innovation projects during 2021.

Business Finland's New Space Economy program aimed to accelerate the growth of new innovations and new global business for services and solutions benefitting from space – both in suppliers' and end users' point of view. The New Space Economy Challenge was an idea challenge launched to activate the experts of this sector to collaboratively develop new innovations that assure Finnish competitiveness. Business Finland will fund projects in New Space Economy theme with 50 million euros in 2018-2022.


New Space Economy is transforming space related business globally. New Space Economy refers to space activities, which are exercised by new kind of actors, operating from commercial viewpoint and independent of government. With the progress of digitalization also data, services and applications based on space activities have become ever more important part of our life. Data produced by satellites can be combined to data originating from other platforms, such as HAPS (High-altitude platform systems) or drones. Analyzing that data with artificial intelligence and transmitting it securely make possible completely new kind of global services.

New Space Economy Challenge was a part of the New Space Economy program. The aim of the Challenge was to:

  • Scan and activate ideas, innovations and needs in the sector
  • Encourage the players who share interest and expertise in the same themes to network and collaborate in order to strengthen the ecosystems
  • Enable new innovations to emerge and thus ensure international competitiveness of Finnish expertise also in the future.


New Space Economy Challenge was open for Finnish small and medium size enterprises, Midcaps (corporation turnover under 300 MEUR), large companies, research institutes, municipalities and cities, who strive for international growth and competitiveness. The participating companies were expected to have well established business.

The submitted ideas were categorized and grouped, and their developers invited in workshops. The objective in the workshops was to network and encourage collaboration between actors interested in the same theme and consequently combine individual ideas into larger schemes. The objective is to encourage consortiums built in the workshops to prepare joint innovation projects during 2021.


New Space Economy Challenge focused on following themes:  

A) Nano/small satellite and HAPS (High-altitude platform systems) manufacturing and testing

B) Satellite and HAPS communications and ground station solutions

C) Situational awareness in intelligent solutions alternatively for:

    • Autonomous systems
    • Sustainable cities
    • Precision agriculture
    • Fast changes in environment

The ideas and related solutions had to have significant positive impacts on the applicant's international competitiveness. The challenge to be solved may relate with either increasing the value of an existing product or service, or entirely new product or service concept. No finalized product or service is expected to be developed on the first phase idea challenge.

Further information

Markus Ranne
Program Manager, New Space Economy
Business Finland
markus.ranne (at)
+358 40 3433 453

Read more about the New Space Economy program's innovation funding and internationalization services.