Regions in space

img_main.jpg ESA, the European Space Agency, has a new approach of involving and mobilising regions. As ESA outlined at a seminar in Brussels last week, ambitious space missions come with high scientific and technological challenges and need to be supported by cutting edge technologies in fields such as medical systems, technical textiles, nano materials, nutrition, energy, mining, transportation, habitats, robotics and ICT.

Many EU regions host centres or clusters of innovative industries and research institutions that have potential to provide solutions for future space exploration programmes. That’s why ESA has now started an initiative to cooperate closer with the regions. Its new IAP (Integrated Application Promotion) programmeoffers great opportunities for regions to flag their regional expertise in cutting-edge technologies needed for Europe’s space missions and to strengthen their space clusters. IAP will have to be approved by a ministerial conference in November, a call is expected for January.

ERRIN, the European Regions Research and Innovation Network, has a Space working group that is acting on project opportunities offered by this new initiative but also in other fields such as Satellite Navigation (Gallielo) and is developing EU-wide cooperation projects for space applications. I will keep you posted. I like space. Watch this blog!

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