On 8 November 2018, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Bocconi University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in research activities on topics concerning the economy of space.
The signatories agree to support each other in areas of common interest, and express a commitment to working with developing countries interested in entering the space sector as well as with the scientific space community. On Bocconi University’s part, the agreement will be implemented through the Space Economy Evolution Lab (SEE) of SDA Bocconi, managed by Andrea Sommariva.

The cooperation will give particular attention to integrating space technologies with emerging new technologies, in line with the UN Secretary-General’s New Technologies Strategy. The accord is part of broader joint research activities on the theme of space economy, one of the four pillars of the Space2030 Agenda, which outlines the contribution of space to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The collaboration between the two institutions will also include academic courses for training public employees, particularly those in developing countries, provided by SDA Bocconi with the support of UNOOSA. The subjects in these courses will be those within the expertise of SEE Lab and in line with the mandate and ongoing activities of the Office for Outer Space Affairs (including the promotion of scientific subjects and the UNOOSA Space for Women project).

The Director of UNOOSA, Simonetta Di Pippo commented: “The space economy is expanding enormously, with the participation of an ever-increasing number of actors. Last year, a record number of satellites were launched, and we expect exponential growth in the coming years. UNOOSA, the only UN body 100 per cent dedicated to space, is the centre of gravity of this rapidly evolving sector and works to bring the benefits of space to everyone, everywhere. SDA Bocconi, with the creation of the Space Economy Evolution Lab, is at the forefront of academic research on the economy of space, exploring how to translate the consumption of resources into the creation of value. For UNOOSA, SDA Bocconi is therefore the perfect partner to bring more perspectives into the global conversation on space exploration and analyse the growing economic impact of the sector.”

“Space offers new opportunities for development,” added Andrea Sommariva. “Companies operating in the areas of robotics, artificial intelligence and the ‘neural network’ are looking at the development opportunities that space can offer to their products and services. So, rather than the space economy, I prefer to talk about economic development deriving from the progress of science and technology. The agreement between UNOOSA and Bocconi University that will be implemented by SEE Lab-SDA Bocconi is framed along these lines. For us, UNOOSA is the ideal partner to explore these issues in terms of research, and to spread the managerial, strategic, economic and financial knowledge of SDA Bocconi to emerging countries interested in entering the space sector.”