Assessing the impact of UK investment in the European Space Agency

November 2022

The UK Space Agency commissioned a consortium, of which Science-Metrix was part, to design, develop, and implement a monitoring and evaluation programme for the UK Space Agency’s investment in the European Space Agency (ESA). 

The UK allocates approximately three-quarters of its space budget to the ESA, for an annual contribution of €420–450 million. The UK Space Agency’s goal in undertaking this project was to assess the benefits of its past investment and establish a framework for evaluating future impact.

Science-Metrix’s contributions to the project included:

  • using a keyword-based approach enriched with SciVal’s Topics to define a thematic publication dataset that captured works published in the domain of Space Science;
  • identifying publications that were supported by the European Space Agency, either through direct funding, through the use of data derived from a mission that ESA supported, or through publication authorship, and then mapping these publications to ESA’s activity areas;
  • building a thematic patent dataset that captured patents related to space science and technology;
  • computing bibliometric and technometric indicators at the national and institutional levels, both for Space Science overall and for ESA-related papers so that the relative impact of ESA research could be benchmarked.

The final report, written by consortium partner Technopolis, was recently published online. Statistics provided by Science-Metrix are included in chapters 4 and 5 of Part A.

Read the report:

Report, Part A

Report, Part B

Technical Annex

Image credit: iStock Photo

rocket blasting into space