Space systems are becoming increasingly important to society. Applications are used in a wide range across the economy and society in general: in consumer products, in processes in the manufacturing industries, in the development and deliverance of professional services, in government services, in intelligence and in defence. Major sectors of the economy and many citizens depend on space systems and space-based technologies. Most of the services we take for granted in everyday life depend on space to function properly, from telecommunications to television and from weather forecasting to global financial systems.

The European Space Agency (ESA) intends to identify the economic and societal effects of public investments in space related activities in Europe, both in a qualitative and in a quantitative way. The focus in this research is on ex post analysis: analysing the effects of space programmes that have been implemented in the past.