The Space Café “33 minutes with Pierre Lionnet“, Research and Managing Director at ASD-Eurospace, in conversation with Torsten Kriening, publisher of SpaceWatch.Global was conducted on 28th February 2023.
Pierre is an economist with >25 years of experience in the space sector. He is a well-known expert of space markets and technology trends. He is tweeting on space economics and markets – @LionnetPierre.
Eurospace is the largest and most representative trade organization of the European space industry. Eurospace provides services to its members in the fields of market and policy watch, advocacy, sector cohesion and compliance. Read more at eurospace.org .
Pierre and Torsten discussed the current state and future of the space industry, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing European companies in this field.
One of the main themes of the Space Café was the oversupply of companies and the anticipation of exponential growth in the space industry. Pierre expressed caution and skepticism about these expectations, stating that consolidation rather than growth is needed now. He noted that there are too many companies being created, and that many of them are pursuing similar projects and solutions, leading to oversaturation of the market.
He also emphasized the importance of focusing on material solutions and achieving revenues and customers before scaling up. Pierre suggested that companies should consolidate and work together to make the best of each other’s projects, rather than competing with one another. He cited the example of Euro Heat Pipes, a European company working on scaling up its business while recognizing the challenges of market price reduction.
Regarding technological developments, Pierre identified small propulsion systems as a key area of growth and opportunity for European companies. He also highlighted the need for advancements in space traffic management, satellite constellations, and reusable rockets.
When asked about the role of the European industry in the space industry, Pierre expressed confidence that Europe is not lagging behind and that the number of companies being created in Europe is proportionally high compared to the size of the sector. He also suggested that Europe may be one step ahead of the US in this regard.
Pierre was cautious when asked whether the space industry is a bull or bear market for investors and stated that the anticipated exponential growth of the space industry is not realistic. He suggested that the only area where exponential growth might be possible is space tourism but noted that the environmental impact of space tourism is not negligible.
Overall, the interview with Pierre Lionnet highlighted the need for caution and consolidation in the space industry and the importance of focusing on material solutions and achieving revenues and customers before scaling up. While there are opportunities for growth and advancement in areas such as small propulsion systems, satellite constellations, and reusable rockets, oversaturation of the market and overly optimistic expectations are potential pitfalls for companies in this field.
To listen to the Space Café WebTalk’s insights, you can watch the full program here: