The European Union (EU), along with the rest of the world, is witnessing a steady and remarkable development of the space economy that creates of new products, services and technologies addressing today’s challenges. 

Such innovation advances business and research as well as promotes the demand for new professions and highly skilled and well-paid specialists.  

The growth of the European space sector facilitated by the EU Space Programme, the European Space Agency, other international institutions as well as national space strategies and initiatives. The driver of today’s space domain is the private sector, the so-called NewSpace. The space sector is being actively commercialised worldwide, welcoming new players into the ecosystem. 

The Latvian space sector 

The Latvian space sector has internationally recognised achievements and sought-after competencies, based on significant historical heritage and competitive, modern technological innovations. 

In Latvia, there are around 50 organisations actively engaged in the space sector. Their capacities can be summarised as follows: 

  • INFRASTRUCTURE, including telescopes that are an integral part of international networks, space environment simulation technologies and cleanrooms; 

  • TECHNOLOGIES, encompassing electronics, smart materials and insulation, smart engineering, energy, photonics, precision instruments; 

  • DATA, especially Earth Observation data-based applications for forests, agriculture, sea and smart cities, as well as space exploration data; 

  • SCIENCE, involving education and research, scientific instruments and equipment. 

All Latvian space sector companies simultaneously operate in the "Earth" sectors. Accordingly, all knowledge-intensive companies representing Latvia's smart specialisation strategy areas (RIS3) are the actual and potential participants of the space industry. 

Latvia and the European Space Agency

Latvia has been collaborating with the European Space Agency since 2015, successfully implementing already around 100 projects. Several years of efficient work of Latvia’s entrepreneurs and scientists enabled Latvia to become an Associate Member of the European Space Agency on 27 July 2020. This new status meant direct access to ambitious international missions and activities to strengthen the country's competitiveness, exports, knowledge-intensive innovations and STEM human capital. As a result, several success stories emerged in record time, marking Latvia's name in global space missions. For instance, the Latvian company Allatherm is part of the upcoming international space station Lunar Gateway, whereas the company Eventech will participate in the Hera mission, safeguarding Earth from asteroids. This is an internationally recognised achievement, especially considering the fact that Latvia is a relatively "young" space state. 

Space Strategy of Latvia for 2021-2027

Latvia’s space sector activities and strategic priorities are detailed in the Space Strategy of Latvia for 2021-2027, which is a work document jointly developed by the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economics. 

The strategy has four main objectives: 

  • education & skill development; 

  • entering in space supply chains & international impact; 

  • scientific & engineering research; 

  • governmental services. 

In 2023, the goals of the strategy were reviewed and elevated, taking into account the rapid development of the sector. 

Further information about the Latvian space sector and opportunities: 

Angelīna Bekasova

Senior Expert
Angelina.Bekasova [at]