Rome looks to back the industrial space race. The Italian government is signalling its willingness to back the country’s space sector with a plethora of tools. What once might have appeared as a niche sector has become “very important,” said Enterprise Minister Adolfo Urso on Wednesday, emphasising that the goal is to turn Italy into one of the “leading actors in the colonisation of space.”
- “It is extremely important for Parliament to focus its attention on a sector that is so significant for our country, both in terms of technological development and for the spin-offs in the industrial sector,” he told the MPs’ Space Economy Intergroup at an institutional event.
Regulation coming up. As Minister Urso promised, the executive intends to draw up and pass laws regulating space activities, which Italy is lacking. “We intend to present the regulations on space in the next financial law (which is usually unveiled in the fall, ed)” so as to present Parliament with the drafts on space law “in the following weeks” and “have an overall picture as early as 2024.”
- The government has already lined up as much as €3.2 billion to invest in the space economy.
Knock-on effects… The upcoming regulation will provide a valuable framework and empower Italy’s space industry, which comprises 300 companies – relying on a network of over 4,000 small and medium enterprises – and a country-wide turnover of €4.5 billion per year.
- The minister had previously explained that legislative efforts would address areas such as space junk clean-up, where national champions Thales and Alenia are developing a spacecraft capable of removing debris from orbit.
… and geopolitical prowess. Leveraging the growth of one of the country’s “most strategic” industries will allow Italy to carve out a bigger role for itself in European space programmes and deepen its expanding sectoral cooperation with the United States – which will surely be one of the dossiers brought along by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in her upcoming visit to Washington.