SENER in Poland publishes the first social impact report for the Polish space industry

20/03/2018 (Poland)
SENER in Poland publishes the first social impact report for the Polish space industry

The report shows the positive impact on the economy and society of companies such as SENER, which engages 50 cooperating entities in the space industry and provides them with almost half of the value of projects acquired from the ESA. The quality of human resources in this sector is also improving, with a strong focus on employee education. 

An important criterion that the European Space Agency is guided by when selecting contractors is the so-called geographical return principle. According to this principle, the ESA grants contracts to companies from a given country with a total value close to that of the contribution paid to the agency by that country. The money therefore returns to the country and serves the development of the high technology industry, as well as science. The SENER in Poland report explains exactly how this is done. 

Collaboration and knowledge sharing 

The Polish space industry is still young. In fact, when our country joined the ESA in 2012, there were no enterprises with experience in the sector. Therefore, it is in the interests of companies that obtain ESA contracts to share know-how and transfer knowledge to their partners.

SENER in Poland’s partner network already numbers 50 entities which are cooperating with the company on various space projects. For many of them, this partnership was their first contact with the space industry, and the knowledge and experience they have gained has facilitated the independent acquisition of new international clients within the industry. 

Staff development

One of the key activities for companies in the space sector is building human resources and the continuous education of employees. Polish companies are gradually acquiring increasingly advanced projects and thus the attractiveness of our country is growing in the eyes of highly qualified employees, who until recently had no opportunity to develop their careers in Poland and had to work for foreign space companies. 

An example of positive change can be seen in the development of the SENER in Poland team responsible for aerospace projects – in the space of five years, it has grown from 3 people to 37 high-class specialists who are qualified to work on ESA, NASA and ESO projects. In addition, the company regularly works with students and organises meetings at technical universities, thus building the foundations of the Polish space sector, which will bear fruit for many years. 

Selected data and facts from the Social Impact Report 2017 

  • Continuous investment in development – in 2017, SENER in Poland’s expenditure on investments reached 62% of net profit.
  • 50 Polish companies and institutes are collaborating with SENER in Poland on various projects.
  • 45% is the average value of a project shared by the company with Polish partners via contracts for services and products.
  • 100% of employees participate in the internal training programme.
  • 20% of employees in the aerospace division are undertaking studies financed by the company.
  • About 150 students from technical universities took part in meetings with space engineers organised by the company last year. 

For us, corporate social responsibility means actively working towards the development of the space sector and propagating knowledge about it. We aim to make the topic accessible to the wider public and show the scientific and economic benefits of space exploration. We want to be a partner in these activities, because we believe that everyone benefits from cooperation,” says Aleksandra Bukała, Director General at SENER in Poland. 

We produced our first devices for the space industry 10 years ago, but cooperating with SENER in Poland has meant that production for this sector has become a significant and growing part of our activity. Space projects are very demanding, but we like these challenges and we are able to tackle them thanks to the experienced team and the high-class processing and measuring machines. I can say with confidence that, along with our partner, we have created an advanced, exemplary model of cooperation, which is especially important for projects as technologically difficult as space projects,” says Marek Bujny, CEO at Ultratech. 

Education and student meetings

SENER in Poland shares its knowledge and experience in the space sector through a series of meetings at technical universities. The company has launched a mentoring and consulting programme for students interested in aerospace engineering. 

SENER in Poland not only invests in the development of its employees, but also in young people who are just at the beginning of their careers. This year, the company has expanded its educational activities addressed towards technical university students. In the coming weeks, project managers will share their knowledge of what it’s like to work on international space projects and give advice on the practical skills that should be developed by students interested in working in this industry. The meetings will take place in four cities: 

  • Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, 22 March – case studies of projects on Proba 3, SAOCOM and e.Deorbit missions.
  • Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, 22 March – case studies of projects on ExoMars and Biomass missions.
  • Rzeszów University of Technology, Rzeszów, 29 March – case studies of projects on Euclid, ELT and Athena missions.
  • AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, 18 April – case studies of projects on Proba 3, SAOCOM and e.Deorbit missions.
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  The President of SENER, Jorge Sendagorta, has been awarded the Honorary Member's medal, which is granted by the Spanish Institute of Engineering (Instituto de Ingeniería de España, IIE). This institution decided to give the distinction to Jorge Sendagorta after he was nominated by the Spanish Association of Naval and Ocean Engineers, in recognition of his professional career. According to the institution: “It's a prize to the engineer, but undoubtedly also to the engineering carried out at SENER, which is spearheading Spanish engineering around the world and in the most innovative sectors."[+]

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