European Space Agency

Assessment of the socio-economic impact of the ARTES programme


The main objective of this study has been to “quantify a posteriori the socio-economic impacts resulting from the ARTES programme by identifying adequate criteria, developing a method to assess the programme on the basis of these criteria, apply this method in order to obtain final results and to report on them” (ESA, Invitation to Tender AO/1-6748/11NL/NR).

This overarching objective was associated with several more detailed requirements, as follows:

  • The study should be designed such that its key results are comparable with the results of the assessment of other large innovation programmes within the European Union (e.g. the EU RTD Framework Programme) and should align more generally with the advice on the measure of research and innovation as set out in key Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) documents (e.g. Oslo Manual)
  • The study should follow a method to tackle both the issues of attribution (what part of the benefits result from support of the ARTES programme), and the question of synergy (how do the various contributors enhance overall support and the wider ecosystem). 


The study key issues addressed and main findings are as follows:

  • The programme invested circa €2 billion between 2002-2012, and this investment has been matched with strong industry support (circa €0.8 billion)
  • ARTES has engaged with all of the major EU space manufacturers, as well as working with very many more space companies across the whole value chain and has enabled major game-changing industrial developments in the past decade
  • ARTES has enabled a total economic impact of €19.1bn, between 2001-2011. In terms of the return on investment (to public support), we estimate that each €1M invested by ESA through ARTES has enabled €11M in economic gains for Europe.
  • ARTES has supported 2,030 jobs on average each year in the period 2001-2011, including both jobs created and jobs safeguarded


The study follows a mixed-methods approach, which combines qualitative and quantitative techniques to assess various routes to impact and also to arrive at a final estimate of overall economic impact

The study comprised a targeted literature review of approaches to measuring the socio-economic impact of public investments in Space; composition analysis of ARTES funding over time (by type of participant, ARTES programme element and country); a comprehensive interview campaign to gather financial and other information from the most active industrial participants, including meetings with the senior representatives of 11 parent companies, and an online survey directed to another 137 companies that had a moderate participation in the programme; preparation of in-depth case studies at company level to identify routes to impact and ESA’s critical role in achieving success; and case studies to characterise a selection of the most notable types of wider socio-economic benefits of ARTES (in terms of connecting remote areas and businesses, improving connectivity in the maritime and aerospace sector, supporting disaster relief management, supporting new broadcasting, supporting electoral process, supporting the provision of health, supporting financial inclusion and enabling scientific missions). 

The study estimated economic impact following a methodology that accounts for (1) direct economic impact on participant companies and estimated impact along the supply chain in terms of increases in turnover and employment, (2) adjustment factor to estimate the value of impact that can be attributed to the ARTES programme (i.e. that would not have happened otherwise).

Current status

The project has been completed in 2014.

Status date

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 09:44