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The Israel Space Agency will establish a first-of-its-kind center in Israel for research and development infrastructure for small satellites

The center will make available to entrepreneurs, companies and researchers the infrastructure for the development of small satellites and their components, and will enable the expansion of the ecosystem in the field

The Israeli space industry. Image:
The Israeli space industry. Image:

A research and development center for small satellites will be established by the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, within 3 years. In this framework, the Ministry published a tender for the establishment of the center, the purpose of which is to provide physical and functional infrastructures that will allow building and strengthening the ecosystem in the field. This, against the background of the accelerated growth in the global small satellite market and the great potential in the field for the Israeli industry, which currently has no factor promoting it in a dedicated way and has a need for infrastructure and services that enable the testing and development of small satellites and their components (such as propulsion components, navigation, communication, satellites, etc. ).

The establishment of the Center for Small Satellites is intended to expand the economic activity and innovation in the satellite industry in Israel through the accessibility of satellite inspection services and their components in an improved manner compared to the alternatives that exist today and while removing barriers to startups and companies in the field in Israel, and to promote an ecosystem in the space industry by encouraging collaborations in the field between research bodies, industry, entrepreneurs and investors.

The members of the Telam Forum, in which members in addition to the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology also include MFA, the Innovation Authority, and the Ministry of Finance, will finance the establishment of the center with a budget of up to NIS 80 million, and the winning supplier will be required to participate at least in 20 million NIS from his sources. In addition to the partial funding, the winning supplier will be required to design, build, operate and maintain the small satellite center.

The center will provide services to a wide range of clients - industrial companies in this field, start-up companies and entrepreneurs, research and development bodies, educational institutions, and will lead acceleration programs, challenges and more. Among the services that the center will provide: implementation of acceleration programs to promote the local small satellite industry; Knowledge infrastructure and physical infrastructure for carrying out research in the fields of space and small satellites; providing ground station services for the control of small satellites; assistance with regulatory issues; An available and accessible infrastructure, which will make it possible to carry out development activities and tests in the field of small satellites (including - examination of components, tests of environmental conditions, laboratory areas, integration and clean rooms and engineering support for the design); Support for contracting processes with dispatch providers and brokers; and more.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Orit Parkash HaCohen: "Proud of another step to promote the civilian space industry in Israel that is being launched today. Creating an advanced satellite infrastructure will strengthen the ecosystem for startups, for Israeli research in the field of civil space, and will help the Israeli high-tech industry continue to grow stronger.''

Director General of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, Hila Hadad Hamelnik: "The global field of small satellites is experiencing accelerated growth, with 97% of the satellites launched in 2021 being small satellites. Israel, which has a relative advantage in this field due to the early entry of the Israeli space industry into this field, must take a leading position in the world of small satellites. The small satellite center will respond to research and development needs and allow the industry to grow into a thriving ecosystem. From this the state will benefit twice: both in economic growth, and also from diverse developments that will respond to the great challenges of the state and the Israeli citizen, including the use of remote sensing to monitor climate events, location and monitoring services, developments in the fields of artificial intelligence, communication, photography and more."

The chairman of the Israel Space Agency, Prof. Dan Bloomberg: "The infrastructure of the Small Satellite Center will be used by the developing industry and will connect academia and the private market in this field. Through this important investment, we will create new, high-quality jobs that will develop the space industry and the entire country's economy. I congratulate the Telam Forum for recognizing the potential inherent in the civil space industry and choosing to invest in infrastructure as a basis for the development of this field in Israel."

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