Should part of the future Space Budgets be allocated directly to potential end-users of satellite services? This proposal and other measures to support demand creation were the focus of the Eurisy Conference “Securing the benefits of satellite services for European society”, held last Friday in Brussels.
The event brought together representatives from potential end-user organisations on the one hand (the Committee of the Regions, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Union (SME Union) and the European Confederation of Associations of Small and Medium Enterprises (CEA-PME)) and the space community on the other hand (the European Commission, the European Space Agency, service provider associations EARSC, ESOA and EuroTeleServ).
End-user organisation representatives confirmed an interest in satellite information and services, but highlighted difficulties for their members in accessing clear and transparent information about what is on offer, and in finding suitable financing mechanisms for implementing them. All made concrete proposals on enhancing service diffusion in Europe.
Joost Van Iersel, Chairman of EESC Consultative Commission on Industrial Change, positively commented on the Eurisy Position Paper proposal to support the end-users: “Financial support to the non-space SMEs will promote market development, and thus will generate a positive return on initial [European] investment in R&D and the downstream sector”.
CEMR Policy Director Angelika Poth-Moegele suggested that the next Cohesion Policy Programme, among others, could be a suitable framework for financing local and regional authorities wishing to share and transfer good practices in the use of satellite services and to apply them for their needs. Other measures could include putting the potential benefits of satellite services on European agendas, such as in the upcoming revision of the EU’s territorial agenda for the EU’s spatial development and the Leipzig Charter for sustainable urban development.
Similarly, Manfred Vohrer, Member of the CEA-PME Board, agreed on the importance of financially supporting end-user SMEs from sectors other than space: “We need SMEs to translate satellite services into benefits for society”, but [SMEs] need to be supported in this process.
Geraldine Naja, ESA Head of the Coordination with EU institutions, agreed on the necessity “to encourage the adoption and use of already-existing services” to complement service development. She highlighted the complementarity between its responsibilities in service development programmes, and EC responsibilities in ensuring better diffusion of operational, market-ready satellite services. Service providers expressed a commitment to working better with all stakeholders to make the case for satellite information and services.
For further information contact:
Eurisy Secretariat Phone no.: 0033147340079