Space Policy / Industry Dialogue (2d edition)

The second edition of the Space Policy / Industry Dialogue jointly organized by NEREUS and bavAIRia e.V., the German Cluster Aerospace, on 24th of July 2015 in Augsburg, brought together around 60 participants from both the space industry and the political sphere.

Member of European Parliament and the president of the Sky & Space Group Monika Hohlmeier debated with representatives from politics, industry, agencies as well as research and academia. The focus was on developments in space policy such as the outcomes of the past ESA-Ministerial in December 2014, their implications and impact for the space community as well as central topics for space and space applications. During the panel discussions, a vivid debate between the panelists and the audience showed the high relevance of these topics.

During the first session Piero Messina, ESA, mentioned the emergence of a new paradigm of ESA: “Space 4.0”. He explained that a redefinition of the paradigm ruling space activities is required in order to involve the relevant stakeholders “society, science, politics and industry” and to foster interaction between them.

With regard to the Ariane 6 programme offering a launcher for half the price is actually the major challenge. Jürgen Ackermann explained that the concept of the launcher has been completely revised in order to keep up with the competition and that a cost reduction of 60% has been achieved compared to Ariane 5. He mentioned that “The global context is changing and we in EU can do it.” Hans Steininger from MT Aerospace outlined that they can do the booster casting regardless of which material and that there is high expertise at the DLR in Augsburg supporting it. Besides Ariane 6 the continuing operation of the International Space Station ISS is highly appreciated by all panellists. Easier access to ISS research capabilities for countries not yet involved are among the key questions to be solved.

The second session focused on challenges and needs of companies developing space based services and products. The increased operability of Copernicus and Galileo comes along with vast business opportunities for SME and entrepreneurial activities but also with the urgent necessity to develop the rapidly growing downstream sector.

MEP Monica Hohlmeier called for Europe to invest more in “risky ideas”. Innovations depend on people and ideas, Europe is too cautious when reaching out to new unknown frontiers. She encouraged the audience to develop and share their new ideas: “We need your ideas”. Generally, she told the audience that the Parliament knows too little about Copernicus and the benefits of Europe’s space systems. The added value of Copernicus and Galileo for the citizens, e.g. farmers but also overarching European challenges such as security, migration, etc. are too little known among her colleagues in the EP. More promotion of success stories and concrete illustrative examples is needed.

Company representatives identified data access as the key element for market development and called for clear governance structures in this respect. The roles of politics, agencies and companies need to be clearly assigned and transparent to everyone. With regard to funding, Europe should be more ambitious and pay attention to globalisation. Anyway, the principle of free and open access to data, even to parties outside Europe is not always for the benefit of European companies. With view to global markets, the idea for “Space for Africa” emerged highlighting the specific African needs and the large market potential for space applications in different domains.

GSA Director Carlo des Dorides stressed that when talking about market development the reflection should not be reduced to the available funding budget but take the whole range of EU-activities.

For further information please visit the bavAIRia website