At the beginning of 2020 I wrote an article highlighting four key trends that we had picked up on covering the growth of the space economy, the increase in private and public investment, the growth of sustainability in space and the increased collaboration across and between sectors. Despite the unprecedented year we’ve faced with COVID impacting every part of our lives, the industry continues to grow. With the first half of the year focusing on resilience and bounce-back and more recently with the government’s announcement of their ‘levelling up’ agenda focusing on stimulating the economic recovery.
As we move into 2021 with the pandemic still impacting so many industries, here at MULTIPLY we have reflected on what turned out to be a strong year. I want to highlight 3 areas in particular that have not only defined the new normal in the world of work in 2020 but also what we believe will continue to shape the future of work, hopefully for the better:
Collaboration: 2020 has seen more consortia, joint proposals and research and skills collaborations than before. The absence of being able to freely move and interact face-to-face has more generally raised the importance of the ecosystem to companies. We have had significant contributions to our study, and are collaborating with the University of Leicester on a student research programme, to name just a couple of collaborations.
Flexibility: Adapting to new scenarios has demanded flexibility and innovation from companies small and large, with the most obvious impact being the shift to remote-working. This working has had supporters and detractors, improving time with family reducing carbon footprints and the economic drain on salaries from commuting. Through to addressing challenges of isolation, slipping into a ‘living at work’ rather than a ‘working at home’ structure and more time on video conferences than any of us could ever have imagined. What I hope this stimulates is a more mature way of adapting to working styles and focusing on employee’s wellbeing for the future.
Diversification: As you would diversify a portfolio of investments, companies are recognising the importance of having a diversified portfolios of revenue streams. This is key to mitigate risks and remove dependencies. At MULTIPLY this has always been our focus and even more so in 2020– how do we build resilience by diversifying our client’s offering to different markets through technology transfer? Beyond our industry focus we have also initiated discussions with thought leaders in academia to further develop our technology transfer innovation framework (MULTIPLY Framework ©).
As with MULTIPLY, globally the space industry has also had a strong year. To round up 2020, we’ve captured a few highlights which serve as timely reminders of what can be done even in the face of adversity and points to a bright future.