Among the biggest players are earth observation satellite firm Kleos, whose team is expected to reach 200 over the next four years, director Andy Bowyer told Delano in September. Another big player is Spire Global Luxembourg which, along with asteroid-mining firm Planetary Resources, benefited from around €25m in finance from the Luxembourg Future Fund.
The latter has become something of a bête noire for Schneider after financial difficulties at the firm led the state to sell its 10% share for a symbolic price, losing some €12m in capital investment.
Financing of newspace projects in Luxembourg was handled by the space department of the economy ministry until the launch of the Luxembourg Space Agency in September 2018. Schneider said that in future the process of applying for R&D investment under the European Space Agency’s Luximpulse programme should be simplified in future.
Meanwhile, further finance should be made available in future once the Luxembourg Space Fund is launched. The state will serve as anchor investor in the project, putting up 50% of the funds.
“At this point, the amount that will be invested by the state has not been decided since it will also depend on investments from private partners,” Schneider wrote. “In future the SNCI [Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissment], would also be able to invest directly in newspace companies.”