Space and Slovakia, such an improbable combination. You may be wondering what space topic and small country in the heart of Europe have in common. In this article, we are going to explain why and how can Slovakia become the centre of the space industry in CEE region.
Even though Slovakia is a small country with just 5.4 million inhabitants, it is the world’s biggest car producer per capita. The reason for this is the unique characteristics of a country within the European market. Great strategic location in the middle of Europe, adoption of the Euro currency, as well as membership in the European Union are offering smooth barrier-free trade conditions.
Education, skills and the cost-effectiveness of the workforce in combination with the high labour productivity are creating welcoming manufacturing conditions. Numerous technical schools and universities, with the network of innovation centres, are supporting steadily growing R&D.
Slovak automotive industry is being supported by a large network of suppliers. This network has a great potential to support a broad range of other industries in the future. The high quality of outputs is present along the whole supply chain — ranging from electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, manufacturing of composite materials, aluminium industry to design engineering.
From this point of view, all founding stones are in the place to support the current car industry. This means that they are also available to support the transition to complex technological industries like space industry.
Slovak automotive industry will be facing turbulent times very soon. New car reduction policies in cities, transformative business models and the shift in customer behaviour towards sharing economy will cause a large drop in production. A significant pool of manufacturing facilities, skilled labour and R&D capabilities will be freed for a new upcoming industry.
We want to argue that the space industry is the next logical step after the automotive industry. These industries share the same resource pool. Both require a wide supplier network, capable of producing cutting-edge technology, using advanced materials while delivering high-quality workmanship.
The space industry will soon undergo a massive boom similar to the Internet revolution. Advancements in the commercial spaceflight, CubeSats, asteroid mining and space exploration are opening new business opportunities. The skill set, expertise and manufacturing necessary to accommodate this industrial effort are already present and available in Slovakia.
This is one of the many reasons why we decided to organize Vytah conf — to support the transition of Slovakia towards the space industry. However, our aim is much wider. Vytah conf is a crucible where we are bringing together all the interest from the Central European region. We are bringing together business, academia, government as well as the general public with the common interest: space. Imagine all the possibilities, Vytahconf will create.
We are already looking forward to meeting you there.
Sario — Automotive sector in Slovakia
OECD — Labour productivity forecast
McKinsey&Company — A road map to the future for the auto industry
McKinsey&Company -The road to 2020 and beyond: What’s driving the global automotive industry?
Oliver Wyman — Future Automotive Industry Structure — FAST 2030
City of Stockholm — Sustainable Urban Transport
RethinkX — Rethinking Transportation 2020–2030
Roger L Mackett — Reducing Car Use in Urban Areas
Lionel Grealou — Aerospace vs Automotive: Similarities and Differences, Potential Synergies
The Future Today Institute: 2018 Emerging Tech Trends
ESRE — Selected Trends and Space Technologies Expected to Shape the Next Decade