A new economic system for the Moon

An agreement between SEE Lab and the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC)


Establishing a human presence on the Moon has become one of the main objectives of space exploration. In this context, we have the responsibility of integrating sustainability into the foundations of space resources ventures and designs. Fostering collaboration between space agencies, scientists, regulatory experts, and private companies worldwide is the basis for this endeavor.


It is widely acknowledged that relying solely on Earth’s resources is not feasible in the long term due to high costs and terrestrial resource depletion. It therefore becomes apparent that harnessing local resources, found in space and on the Moon, can be an enabler and in the long run be the catalyst of a new economic system.


This perspective underscores the importance of the collaboration agreement presented during Space Resources Week 2024 in Luxembourg between SDA Bocconi’s Space Economy Evolution Lab (SEE Lab) and the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC). ESRIC is a research and development center for space resource technologies (minerals, ice, gas), established by the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) joined in a strategic partnership by the European Space Agency (ESA).


“ESRIC brings significant technological expertise, including facilities for simulating resource extraction in the lunar environment, while we possess economic-financial expertise coupled with a deep understanding of the geopolitics of space exploration,” says Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of SEE Lab. "In addition to agencies, private sector involvement in space exploration is growing both in terms of investment and potential returns. In such a context, the expertise of ESRIC and SEE Lab are clearly complementary."


“Creating synergy to support the space resources economy is essential as space exploration faces not only scientific and technological challenges, but also legal and commercial ones,” says Kathryn Hadler, Director of ESRIC. “Both entities bring unique expertise and perspectives that, when combined, can create synergies aimed at supporting and advancing the lunar economy.”


"The SEE Lab began to analyze lunar mining in 2019 with a pioneering conference organized by Andrea Sommariva," recalls Mattia Pianorsi, the SEE Lab researcher who presented the agreement at the Space Resources Week in Luxembourg on March 27 (pictured above with Kathryn Hadler). "Today, we are reaping the fruits of his work and long-term commitment.”


SDA Bocconi School of Management

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