Deloitte: Poland enters the phase of economic expansion

The divergence of economic moods in Poland...

Two Years On: War in Ukraine and Its Global Impact

On February 24, 2022, a full-scale Russian...

Local Governments Gain Access to EU Funds and Loans for Green Transformation Projects

ECONOMYLocal Governments Gain Access to EU Funds and Loans for Green Transformation Projects

The first group of young engineers from Poland has started a two-year internship at the European Space Agency (ESA) centers in the Netherlands, Spain, France, and Germany. In total, by 2025, 30 candidates from Poland will be sent for internships at ESA, participating in the agency’s key scientific and technological initiatives. This is just one of the initiatives aimed at training personnel for the space sector. The situation in this area has improved over the past few years, but with the rapid development of the industry, the demand for qualified experts is expected to grow in the coming years.

“A decade ago, when Poland joined the European Space Agency, it was hard to find an experienced engineer who could work on space missions. Now the situation has changed significantly, and there are already individuals with many years of experience in the space sector. Companies and institutes are investing in workforce development, including an internship program in space companies for students and graduates, run by the Association of Space Sector Employers and ARP to educate new personnel. A lot has changed, but the dynamic development of the space sector – especially the information about increasing Poland’s contribution to ESA’s optional programs, signing agreements for the construction of satellite constellations, and launching funds for the space sector from the National Recovery Program – will certainly lead to a renewed shortage of specialists. Therefore, companies and institutes should ensure they support workforce education, and we will definitely collaborate with universities and ministries in this area,” said Paweł Wojtkiewicz, president of the Association of Space Sector Employers, to Newseria Biznes.

According to POLSA, the space sector in Poland currently comprises over 400 entities – institutes and companies, mainly SMEs – half of which cooperate with the European Space Agency (ESA) on a daily basis, employing around 15,000 people. Polish space companies specialize in areas such as control and robotics, the application of Earth observation data, mechatronics, optics and communication systems for satellites, scientific sensors, and space and ground software. Key European space companies and ICT and aviation enterprises also have branches in Poland.

The development of the Polish space sector accelerated significantly after Poland joined ESA in 2012, enabling domestic entities to participate in European space programs, gain financial support, and access ESA infrastructure. Last year, Poland decided to increase its involvement – the Ministry of Development and Technology increased the membership fee for 2023–2025 by 295 million euros and signed agreements with ESA for additional programs supporting the development of the Polish space sector. In total, the Ministry allocated 360 million euros, significantly increasing investments in ESA activities compared to the original budget plans. Importantly, over 90% of this amount will return to Polish companies and scientific institutions working on projects in cooperation with the European Space Agency. The strengthened cooperation includes the construction of two or three observational satellites in Poland, new contracts for Polish companies, the participation of a Polish astronaut in a mission to the International Space Station (ISS), and the possibility for Polish graduates to undertake internships at ESA.

“The strengthening of the process of building personnel for the space sector in Poland should proceed on multiple fronts, but two important things need to be emphasized. First, appropriate orientation at universities for those who want to work in the space sector, and creating opportunities for them to familiarize themselves with the specifics of working in this sector already during their studies. There is a wide scope for cooperation between universities and companies. Secondly, ensuring that students undertake as many internships as possible in companies and abroad. Here, the bilateral program recently signed by the Ministry of Development and Technology with ESA, concerning internships for young engineers at the European Space Agency, comes to the rescue,” said Paweł Wojtkiewicz.

The first group of Polish master’s degree graduates began a two-year, paid internship at European Space Agency centers in the Netherlands, Spain, France, and Germany in April of this year. In total, by 2025, 30 candidates from Poland will be sent on prestigious internships, participating in key scientific and technological projects of the agency. They will gain valuable professional experience in an international environment and in areas such as systems engineering, assembly, integration and testing of the Lunar Gateway space station, construction of the lunar surface analog center, mission control and support for manned space flights, and Earth observation technologies. The two-year internships will also enable young engineers to learn about the practical functioning of ESA and acquire knowledge and skills that can later be used in the Polish space sector.

As Paweł Wojtkiewicz points out, Polish companies and institutes in the space sector are currently very interested in cooperating with universities to train future personnel for this industry. On the other hand, universities are also seeing an increase in interest among prospective students in fields that later provide employment opportunities in the space sector.

“These do not have to be people who graduate in space engineering. They can be individuals graduating in fields related to electronics, programming, materials science, and who have knowledge of how to design space missions, how they can apply their specialization in the specific area that is the space sector,” said the president of the Association of Space Sector Employers. “University studies alone are not enough, and we encourage students to work in scientific clubs, prepare student space projects, which can even be carried out under the auspices of the European Space Agency. This is a great time to start learning about the space sector. University graduates who additionally engage in student space projects are highly sought after in the market.”

Check out our other content
Related Articles
The Latest Articles