Europe presents new space strategy

Wednesday 26 October 2016 | 17:04 CET | News

The European Commission has presented a new 'Space Strategy for Europe', together with the European Space Agency. The Commission said the policy is focused on developing applications that improve people's lives, such as the Galileo navigation system, and strengthen the EU's economy and security. It acknowledges that more private investors and entrepreneurs need to be encouraged to enter the sector in order to accelerate development. 

To support these aims, the Commission will work on promoting the use of services developed under EU space programmes. The Commission will promote the use of Galileo in mobile devices and the observation system Copernicus to support critical infrastructure. It will make it easier for innovative companies and start-ups to access space data via dedicated industry-led platforms in order to develop services and applications.

To help Europe stay ahead in the fast-moving sector, EU funding will be more strongly geared towards space entrepreneurs. Additionally, the Commission will promote more private investment for such start-ups, in particular in the context of the Investment Plan for Europe and the upcoming Venture Capital Fund of Funds. It will also support the emergence of European industrial space hubs and clusters in European regions.

The EU is the largest European institutional customer and plans to launch more than 30 satellites in the next 10-15 years for its Galileo and Copernicus programmes. The launches will help ensure the viability of the European-built launchers Ariane 6 and Vega C. 

In addition, it will start working on an EU Space Situational Awareness Service to protect critical space infrastructures from space debris, space weather and cyberattacks. Through the upcoming European Defence Action Plan, the Commission will also launch a GovSatCom initiative to ensure reliable, secure and cost-effective satellite communication services for EU and national public authorities. 

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