Having a strong place in the investment support of the Turkish economy, participation banks positioning in the space economy in the upcoming period will play an essential role for the sector.

MAGAZINE 10.05.2021, 23:41 11.05.2021, 00:36

The space economy is a fiercely competitive environment in which many countries operate with rapidly developing new technologies. Space economy expenses are higher than other businesses since they involve the latest technology and require collaboration with the scientific community. This field [Space Economy] is globally state-controlled, and based on continuous testing while transforming traditional industries along with its high risks. It also contributes to high added-value products for humanity.

Space has become available for the private sector with the U.S. law allowing companies to invest in this field, and the investments of the winning companies started by opening tenders for their space programs. Space 4.0 economics, including artificial intelligence and the latest digital technologies in parallel with Industry 4.0, is an area that consists of state institutions, the private sector, universities and individual investors. At this point, it is regarded as a new strategic economic area with unique business models, which promotes research and development, innovation and technological advances.

Within the framework of programs determined by countries' aerospace agencies, private companies operate in various ways. Among these are the construction of satellite and imaging systems, the production of vehicles such as rocket capsules that can travel in space, and preparation for transport/logistics/cargo methods. In addition to these, ongoing research continues in areas that involve different business lines such as the design of space outfits, new fuel energies, the construction of optical and infrared imaging systems. Many businesspeople are becoming involved in this area by investing in the projects developed at universities/technoparks or with the start-up companies they established.

In the space economy, where international/regional cooperation and information sharing are a priority, sustainable growth for the future is tried to be achieved through connections with governments and space agencies. New-generation technologies also reduce the costs of the space economy and facilitate fast production. At present, there are approx imately satellites of 80 different countries actively orbiting around the world, and the data they acquire is transformed into expensive products sold in the market. In today's world, where big data has a significant commercial value like oil, satellite data is a crucial profitable area.

In addition to satellite manufacturing, launch, ground equipment/services, Moon and Mars target programs and space mining opportunities have become significant activity areas in the global space economy. The industry has reached nearly $400 billion. As part of the concept of space commercialization, the private sector is located in new space business areas, and it is expected that new solutions can be produced in areas such as energy, food, agriculture, and combating climate change, which are among the sustainable development goals. It is considered that pandemic-based development and unemployment issues of countries with a damaged economy and investments in this field can be resolved through space economy investments and the planned space program studies are still underway.

The countries that can travel in space can stand out with the power and deterrence that they acquire in the global security field, as well as the investments in the space economy that can shape global technologies economically. Turkey has launched the Turkish Space Program as a complement to its self-sufficient national defence projects with the strategic goal of becoming a global actor. In 2018, the Turkish Space Agency was established within the Ministry of Industry and Technology, which has administrative and financial autonomy and has a special budget to guide these efforts at an institutional level. The Turkish Space Agency carried out its first mission, prepared the National Space Program in line with the Republic of Turkey Presidency's policies, and announced it to the Turkish public on February 9, 2021. In the next decade, ten goals have been set based on the development of space and aviation technologies, in line with Turkey's aerospace studies, the prosperity of society, and national interests.

These objectives include serving interdisciplinary activities that support innovative, national and unique technological projects with high added value. It also enables the creation of sustainable platforms and business models by producing information on critical technologies in the field of space. The main goal is to reach the low orbit and then access the Earth's moon by swiftly crossing the detected space border and obtaining the status of a country that can travel space. Accordingly, the aim is to develop critical technologies to achieve access to space and launch needs and establish infrastructure by identifying launch facility locations. The establishment of Turkey's regional positioning system (GPS) is also among the primary objectives.

One plan is to increase international cooperation to transfer information and technology to the primary target and establish a Space Technologies Development Zone with the participating companies by allocating a location in Ankara. Primary priorities include promoting the development of the space economy through state incentives and utilizing the products obtained as both country benefits and export goods. Other aims include increasing scientific progress by utilizing the technologies developed in the field of space in other traditional sectors and achieving employment targets by expanding the training opportunities to meet the human resource demand. Turkish Space Agency has collaborated with 20 countries, 5 international companies and 7 international institutions/organizations since its foundation in 2018.

Agreements have been signed with Ukraine, Hungary and Kazakhstan, and operations have started. Negotiations on the text of agreements with Japan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Indonesia and China are ongoing. Continuous negotiations are ongoing as part of the space agents of G-20 countries. The Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization, which includes China and of which our country is a founding member, enables us to work closely with Asian countries rising in the space field. Membership of the French-based Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), membership of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the Inter Islamic Network on Space Sciences and Technology (ISNET), of which we are a founder, are other critical international memberships. Another important membership is the European International Year for Space (EURISY), which we participated in in 2007. Joint negotiations with space agencies in Europe on space technologies are carried out through this organization.

Trials are ongoing on the Turkish space rocket, where new energy sources will be tested. The first vertical flight and probe rocket system tests of a hybrid engine with liquid oxygen oxidation were completed. The vehicle, which will be launched on the 100th anniversary of the Republic as part of the Turkish Space Mission, was manufactured with national and original technology. Turkish entrepreneurs are encouraged to invest in developing new, national and unique space technologies while adhering to the principle of peaceful use of space, led by the success we have achieved in satellite technologies. The position of participation banks, which already have a firm place in the Turkish investment support economy, will contribute to the industry of the future space economy. Within the scope of the Turkish National Space Program, all targets are expected to be successfully completed within the first ten years.

Istanbul Arel University Assoc. Prof. Doç. Dr. A. İnci Sökmen Alaca

You can view the content in the 25th issue of Katılım Finans. (THE FUTURE OF THE SPACE ECONOMY AND TURKEY'S VISION)

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