Informations and abstract
Keywords: Space Industry; R&D Investments; Spillovers from Space; Space Industry Productivity.
In this paper we present a novel database «Panel Statistico del Distretto Virtuale» (PSDV) set up by ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) and use it to describe the essential facts and investigate the productive structure of the Italian space industry (ISPI). To date this dataset covers 58 firms and their space units for the period 2010-2012 and it allows, for the first time in Italy, an analysis of the space industry in terms of its effective production units, which may be establishments, business units or divisions within the firm or the group or may coincide with the firm itself. The paper is organized as follows. The first section recalls the alternative definitions of space industry and details the coverage of the PSDV, which includes the greatest part of the Italian space industry upstream and Earth Observation sectors. The second section describes the main structural, technological and organizational features of ISPI and provides a discussion on the measure of its R&D capital. The third section presents an econometric analysis that estimates a knowledge production function paying a special attention to R&D and R&D spillovers' elasticities. The last section recalls the main findings and suggests some policy considerations to strengthen the role that the Italian space industry could play in the advancement of science, exploration and economic exploitation of space, at national, European and global level.