Jan 29, 2015

European Space Conference

EARSC Blog by Geoff Sawyer, January 2015: For the last 2 days I have been at the annual space policy conference in Brussels. As usual it has proven to be a very useful event to gather the thoughts of the political influencers and deciders but also to meet with so many friends in the space and Brussels communities. Several messages emerge for me which I wish to capture and share.

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Firstly, some interesting details concerning H2020 and Copernicus where Philippe Brunet was very clear that projects can extend as far as in-orbit validation and demonstration of application capabilities. This should be very much welcomed and we need to develop more ideas on what that could mean for our sector.

On Copernicus, there were some commitments to ensuring that the data would be available to everyone on an equal basis no matter where they are in Europe. We have been asking for this on behalf of the industry but whilst there have been many good words, the funding to make this possible has not been available. We can only hope this may now change.

The dialogue between policy makers and industry will be developed further, initially in the context of H2020 to understand better industry needs. EARSC will be active in gathering and conveying the views and recommendations for the EO services industry.

In this respect, we need to raise the level of the debate which we engender. There are powerful trends influencing the sector at the moment and we must remain vigilant towards the development and positioning of the European industry. We have much to offer and many opportunities emerging but unless we adapt with the support of European policy makers in Brussels and in member states any competitive advantage risks to be lost. It should be an interesting period!