Space Competitiveness Index
Published by the Futron Corporation starting in 2008, the Space Competitiveness Index (SCI) shows a way to compare countries in their space participation levels and investments. The overall scale reflects part of a larger report that dives deeply into space participation trends within each evaluated nation.
The selection of countries included in the SCI provides as much information as their individual scores. Adding a country to the SCI scores means that the country has emerged as a significant participant in space. Therefore, with these additions, the original ten countries on the first SCI report grew to 15 with the most recent 2014 report.
ultiple factors play into the calculated SCI scores. These reported scores for each of the fifteen evaluated nations rank how well each country performs in developing, creating, and executing space programs.
Countries score higher if they have more human and capital resources dedicated to their space programs, great interest within the population, and more policies supporting space participation. Consequently, these higher-scoring countries are more formidable competitors in their presence in space via satellite deployment and space exploration.
To calculate the SCI, Futron Corporation used 50 separate metrics categorized into three groups for each country. These three groups of resources are government, industry, and human capital. Each group has a separate weight for determining the overall SCI score. Government and industry each account for 40% of the total score while human capital is 20%.
One interesting aspect of the SCI is its consideration of the European continent as one of the fifteen evaluated nations. Therefore, instead of evaluating each country in Europe, the SCI evaluates the entire European continent the same as an individual country, which better reflects the collaborative efforts in Europe of its space participation.
Changes over time also show whether nations become more or less competitive in their space participation. Some countries show continued improvement while others decline in their scores.
The most recent SCI data for 2023 comes from 2014. In that year, the United States placed at the top of the SCI rankings. However, in the 2014 report, the United States was the only country to drop for seven straight years. However, because its score is so much higher than the second-place nation, it remains at the top of the SCI.