https://www.epo.org/en/node/innovation-space-technologies

Innovation in space technologies

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Spaceship, spacestation flying above orbit of earth

​​Find out about the EPO’s new platform on space-related inventions, the Deep Tech Finder update for searching space startups and the presentation of the patent insight report on propulsion systems for space. Join us for an exciting online event featuring expert speakers for a discussion of the latest technology, market and intellectual property (IP) trends in space innovation.​

Today, the EPO is supporting the vitally important satellite, cosmonautics and space observation sectors. To help scientists and engineers more easily navigate our wealth of free patent information, we have launched a new technology platform. A new filter for space tech has been added to our Deep Tech Finder tool, which connects investment-ready European startups with investors. We have also published a new Patent Insight report which maps developments in this rapidly expanding sector.

We will present these topics from 10.00 am today in our free online event “Space technologies: tracking innovation and startup development” opened by EPO President António Campinos and the Director General of the European Southern Observatory Xavier Barcons. The event also features experts from the EPO, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), and companies driving the advances in space-related technologies.

New platform, new possibilities

The new platform on space-related inventions allows users to easily identify patent documents concerning over 60 technical topics in cosmonautics and/or space observation. Patent examiners from national patent offices and the EPO have put their expertise into creating advanced search strategies, enabling those unfamiliar with patent searching to navigate through Espacenet, the world’s most advanced database for patent literature.

Go deeper into the world of startups

Our free of charge Deep Tech Finder now features a new filter specifically for space technologies, facilitating the access to information on European start-ups engaged in space-related patent applications at the EPO. The Deep Tech Finder includes profiles from more than 8 400 European startups, which have been linked to their pending and granted European patents. Potential partners and investors can see the legal status of the patents of these start-ups, as well as their funding history.

Patents and propulsion systems: identifying trends

The latest report published today - Propulsion systems for space - delivers valuable insights into patent activities and trends within this field. Space propulsion systems have seen a strong increase in patent activity within the last 20 years of an average of 9% annually. International patent activity is primarily concentrated in traditional space sector leaders, including the US, Europe, China and Russia.

Space innovation is crucial not only for its role in advancing our understanding of the universe, but also for its ability to address pressing challenges and enhance life on Earth. While states and government agencies are important engines in the space sector, we are entering an era marked by the increasing involvement of private actors. This has accelerated the sector’s growth, increasing the need to monitor new developments.

Learn from the experts

Join us to find out about the latest space technology trends and the actors producing such technologies, with a particular focus on startups. Industry leaders will discuss the current challenges and opportunities in the sector, engaging startups and other actors, and the role of patents in driving new space technologies.

Space and sustainable development

Progress in space supports United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9 (UN SDG9) – build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation. As a world leader in supplying technical information, the EPO is committed to sharing the most advanced patent information and knowledge.