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Signs of Potentially Disruptive Innovation in the Space Sector

1 ESA-ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, 2201AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands

International Journal of Innovation Science

ISSN: 1757-2223

Article publication date: 7 November 2011



This paper reviews and analyses some specific conditions for innovation in the European space sector. Innovation has enabled the first steps of humans into space and remained a key central parameter ever since. On the other hand, the space sector lacks key parameters encouraging innovation. While governments have put in place instruments to overcome these deficiencies, the current mechanisms seem to address mainly incremental/sustaining innovation. It is argued that this situation might be leaving the space sector prone to changes coming from radical and disruptive innovation. Applying mechanisms developed for understanding disruptive innovation processes in the private sector, two specific current developments in the space sector are analyzed.


Summerer, L. (2011), "Signs of Potentially Disruptive Innovation in the Space Sector", International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 127-140.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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