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Commission Launches Space Strategy for Europe

Publication date: 
28 October 2016 (UK time)

The European Commission has launched its Space Strategy for Europe and produced an accompanying factsheet.​ The strategy aims to respond to growing competition, increasing private sector involvement and advances in technology by creating opportunities for space start-ups and promoting Europe as a leader in the field. 

The strategy has four main strategic goals: 

  1. Maximising the benefits of space for society and the EU economy; 
  2. Fostering a globally competitive and innovative European space sector; 
  3. Reinforcing Europe’s autonomy in accessing and using space in a secure and safe environment; 
  4. Strengthening Europe's role as a global actor and promoting international cooperation. 

Supporting research and innovation and development of skills falls under the second goal, with the Commission wanting space research to address all parts of the space industrial value chain and to promote technology transfer into non-space sectors. They also recognise that basic research will play an important role in supporting the exploitation of European scientific space data and the development of scientific instrumentation. One of the aims of the strategy is to make sure that future EU space research activities link better with other policy areas that address global challenges. Furthermore, as part of the strategy, the Commission will launch a dedicated sector skills alliance for space/Earth observation. The alliance will bring together stakeholders from industry, research, universities and public authorities to address the new skills the sector requires.

Following the launch of the strategy, the Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a joint EU-ESA declaration on their "Shared Vision and Goals for the Future of Europe in Space" as a demonstration that they want a European approach to space.

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