Space: Overview

From strategy through to execution, we can help public and private sector clients solve diverse and complex problems and unlock the potential of the fast-evolving space domain.

Navigating an industry with wide-ranging potential

The space sector encompasses organisations providing diverse products and services, from satellite communications and earth observation, to access to space, to space exploration. And the data, innovations and new discoveries that come from space developments dramatically impact a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, defence and security, oil and gas and financial services. Space is ripe with opportunities that require a holistic and global approach to be realised.

Where there is opportunity, there are also risks and challenges. Among the issues facing businesses in the industry are rapid market evolutions and disruptions, supply-chain challenges, long product cycles, cybersecurity risks, digital transformation and pressures to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns.

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A market facing evolution and disruption

Space development has traditionally been led by governments and public-sector funding. Today, a vast new ecosystem of private-sector firms and participants is staking claim on space-related opportunities. The market is rapidly evolving, with new developments and disruptions arising often. In response, new business models and solutions are coming to the fore frequently.

Supply chain issues

Businesses across many industries have been affected by supply chain issues in the last few years, and space is no exception. Supply chain links have been broken by geopolitical issues, global health crises and raw material scarcities, as well as by changing consumer demand and increased freight costs. The recent shift away from globalisation towards more local supply chains is also affecting how businesses in the space domain access materials and resources.

Organisations in the space sector will need to overcome supply chain challenges to achieve greater resilience and reduce dependencies on unreliable or problematic market sources. The need for strategic partnerships will grow as geopolitical conflicts, rising competition for materials and other developments strain traditional supply chains.

Talent and skills

Talent and skills shortages have always been issues in the space sector. And upheavals such as Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have added further strain to organisations—particularly UK-based space companies—seeking the highly skilled workers they need.

The current wave of digital transformation rippling through the space sector is compounding the

 skills crisis. As companies move to the cloud and require more and more software engineers, the available pool of talent is shrinking due to the demand for these skills across all sectors.

New industry entrants

Over the last two decades, the space industry has shifted away from being almost entirely government-led, with new kinds of organisations—both institutional and private sector—emerging. The transition to a market-based sector has led companies to design space assets with consumer demand in mind, driving a strong push towards commercialisation.

Startups and scaleups are raising large amounts of capital to develop new, innovative products and services for the space market. Efforts that were once largely funded by governments and big aerospace organisations are now also seeing financial support from so-called ‘angel investors’, wealthy individuals and companies with an interest in space.


Addressing challenges across the space industry

A holistic approach

As a highly complex sector affected by a range of diverse factors, space requires a holistic perspective to fully understand. At PwC, we approach this challenge through The New Equation, using our community of solvers to combine human ingenuity with relevant technology. We work with both institutional and private stakeholders in the industry, as well as with end users of space applications in adjacent industries such as energy, agriculture and defence and security.

Strategising for success

PwC has a strong legacy of providing consultation around strategy. Our Advisory and Strategy& consulting teams consist of knowledgeable and experienced solvers who are ready to empower you to achieve success. With a goal of creating capabilities-driven strategies, we help organisations in the space sector evaluate their market, identify and analyse gaps, assess policy options for market development and understand business cases and revenue projections.

We also consult on capabilities assessments, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) and partnerships, operating models and financial planning. Our aim is to help organisations navigate the space domain’s exciting opportunities with reliable, effective and well-developed strategies.

Socio-economic impact assessments

With decades of experience informing our practice, we understand how to assess the financial implications of business operations. Our comprehensive suite of methodologies covers a broad spectrum of socio-economic assessments, from gross domestic product (GDP) impact assessments to technology and knowledge spill-over assessments, to cost-benefit analyses and more. We apply and tailor our approach to large-scale public and private investments to examine both the fine details and the big-picture view of your organisation’s socio-economic impacts.

Governance, operations and regulatory assessment

We support both private-sector and institutional customers involved in space programmes, using our experience to analyse governance and organisational structures to enable operational excellence. We can help with governance at a country, programme and entity level, and can also advise your organisation on funding schemes that support the development of space capabilities. In addition, we can support audits of space programmes and governance structures to optimise and maximise economic development.

At PwC, we have supported numerous public bodies in analysing regulations related to the space domain. Our team, which includes consultants with expertise in legal matters, can help conduct in-depth assessments of, for example, the warranty and liability safeguards for Earth observation and navigation data. We can also analyse regulations around personal data protection, intellectual property rights and exports.

Data analytics: Insights from space

Satellite data has myriad potential applications. Our in-depth understanding of this potential enables us to support a wide range of businesses and institutions, helping them to leverage the insights and other benefits that such data can deliver. If you are looking to initiate feasibility studies, we can help you to identify internal use cases and develop strategic roadmaps.

Digital transformation is vital in a changing world. PwC’s community of solvers can help you develop proofs of concept using open-source tools and cloud-based solutions, allowing you to take advantage of emerging technologies to develop new offerings and analyse new streams of data.

Environmental, social and governance

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are an emerging business area affecting both the public and private sector. At PwC, we view space as an integral part of the solution in supporting our clients with their ESG objectives and solving some of the world's most complex problems. Harnessing the data from satellites to improve our understanding of the environment is vital to establishing policy and regulations. From a social and governance perspective, we seek to build trust and transparency in the marketplace through effective and streamlined ESG reporting.

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Contact us

Luigi Scatteia

Space Practice Leader, Partner, PwC France

Tel: +33 1 56575846

Scott Kittrell

Managing Director, PwC US

Ryan Hawk

Global Industrial Manufacturing & Automotive Leader, Principal, PwC US