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Last week, I was invited to present at the Polish Space Sector Forum in Warsaw. The invitation had been initiated by one of the EARSC members (Geosystems Poland) and I was very happy to accept and to present our ideas linked to the creation of the Marketplace Alliance. It was well attended with some 150 people present and most if not all the member companies of the Polish Space Industry Association exhibited.

I was struck by the dynamism of the sector and their ambition to play a role in the downstream business. This contrasted with the main presentations which were all about creating a “space programme” and developing a Polish satellite. If the efforts are successful, I hope that there is enough room to support downstream efforts as well and this is not crowded out by the space manufacturing interests.

Many of the companies spoke with me about the Marketplace Alliance and how it is clearly industry led. There is a strong feeling of companies facing competition from institutes and other public bodies and that the academic view is given too much weight. There was much appreciation of our message about clarifying the roles of the public and private sectors and that this could be conveyed to the Polish decision makers. I was happy to oblige during my presentation and welcomed the opportunity to hear first-hand from the decision makers regarding their ambitions for the space sector; just a plea to remember to take adequate care of the downstream services part!

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