Secure Connectivity: Debate Gains Momentum

MEP Niklas Nienass recently expressed his opinion about the momentum the debate on the planned
European megaconstellation (“Secure Connectivity System”) is gaining. His main concerns are focused, inter alia, in three points. In the first place, he mentioned his concern about the achievement of affordable prices as regards the satellite-based Internet to weak regions. Next, he pointed out his concentration on a substantive development of a European New Space Economy. Lastly, he stated his concern about the timeline, providing that 2027 instead of 2024 should allow the EU to accurately determine the actual needs of Member States and shape the development accordingly.

Find his full statement and his report from his trip to the USA here.

Making Space Matter Summit

Friends of Europe’s Making Space Matter Summit in June 2022 will provide an alternative platform to discuss space matters and making space matter.

Space exploration, capacity, competition, infrastructure, and its role as a new market and security domain will prove to be defining issues for our planet over the next decade and beyond. Space has the potential to reap huge rewards for social good, progress in terms of our common digital future and ability to mitigate and manage the impact of climate change. Every aspect of our lives, and every policy, has the potential to be impacted by the way Europe and its partners approach the new questions of space. Satellites in particular, and the wider role of space as a new frontier of intelligence and real time situational awareness, will increasingly be an important facet of current crises and future conflicts.

The summit will take place on Monday, 20 June, from 10.45 – 18.00 in Brussels. We look forward to welcoming you.

7th World Conference on Research Integrity

The Co-chairs, Local Organising Committee and Programme Committee of the 7th World Conference on Research Integrity was pleased to welcome delegates to Cape Town in 2022!

The 7th World Conference on Research Integrity was held from 29 May – 1 June 2022. The theme of the Conference was “Fostering Research Integrity in an Unequal World”. The 7th WCRI was interesting and relevant to Research Integrity stakeholders across all disciplinary fields from the basic and applied natural and biomedical sciences to the humanities and social sciences. Important RI stakeholders included researchers, institutional leaders, national and international policymakers, funders and journals.

The discussion areas at the conference were focused to Research Integrity as a driver of research excellence and public trust, ethical best practice in authorship, publication and the use of research metricsas well as responding to research misconduct. Most notably, an additional emerging subtheme was referred to ensuring research integrity in the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

https://wcri2022.org/

Report of the Conference on the Future of Europe

The report of the final outcome of the Conference on the Future of Europe, including 49 proposals, was presented on 9 May 2022. The proposals reflect the expectations of European citizens on important topics, which also aims to provide an overview of the various activities undertaken during the Conference. The Conference has constituted an unprecedented experience of transnational deliberative democracy. It has also proven its historical relevance and importance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian aggression of Ukraine. The three institutions are ought to examine how to follow up effectively on this report, in accordance with their competencies and the treaties. 

Read the full Report on the link: https://futureu.europa.eu/pages/reporting

From a European to a Global Green Deal

A delighted conference was held on the 12th of May, jointly organized by the Science and Technology in Society forum (STS forum) and the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA). The ‘From a European to a Global Green Deal’ high-level conference aimed to leverage of the ‘European Green Deal’ to achieve a ‘Global Green Deal’.

The speakers initially presented the energy regime for Europe, while the second panel was focused on the path to a Global Green Deal. This achievement needs new ideas, such technology and international cooperation, as well as strong education concerning the sustainable development goals.  To this end, the European legislation shall take into consideration the rapidly increased environmental and energy trends, policy changes as well as policy challenges.

You can find the recording of the conference here: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/stoa/en/events/details/from-a-european-to-a-global-green-deal/20220427WKS04141

STM: Towards a European Space Law

The number of satellites and debris in space constantly increases due to new developments in reusable launchers, small satellites and more and more private initiatives in space. Niklas Nienass recently highlighted the importance of a European Space Law evolution that ensures liability, security and sustainability in the entire European space sector. Furthermore, more actions relating to the EU Space regulation will be developed. 

MEP Niklas Nienass Statement

Satellites are moving our society forward. And the more cost-efficient they become, the more sectors can benefit from their technology. For example, satellites can help optimizing processes in organic farming. But the more satellites there are, the more crowded the orbit becomes. In recent years, the number has increased rapidly. Increasingly, there is a threat of collisions with unforeseeable consequences.

Therefore, the European Union wants to set up mechanisms to make traffic in orbit safer and more sustainable. In February, the European Commission presented a concept for a common Space Traffic Management (STM).

The framework aims to set binding standards and norms for satellite operators by 2024. It also aims to use new technologies to continuously collect and analyze data on the space environment.

This week, the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), of which I am a member, discussed the project.

For me, it is clear that the European Union must initiate a joint STM. However, I am also convinced that this can only be a first step. We need a European Space Law that ensures liability, security and sustainability in the entire European space sector.

I am very happy, that we have managed to include considerations for such a European regulation in the Committee’s statement on STM.

At the end of the month, I will travel to the U.S. to get first-hand insights into current developments in space. A series of high-level discussions are planned with Congress, the National Space Council, NASA, and companies such as Astroscale, Nanoracks, and SpaceX.

The future of space is currently being shaped largely in the U.S., and a future European regulation must be prepared for developments that will reach us from there in the coming years. At the same time, I am looking to promote our own positions, such as sustainability standards in orbit. In turn, we can learn from the Americans – for example, with regard to the development of a private space economy.

I want Europe to help shape the future of spaceflight – with technical innovations as well as with binding standards that ensure peace, security and sustainability in space.

Contact:
Dennis Yuecel
Communications Niklas Nienass MEP

MEP Niklas Nienass on the Future of International Cooperation

Dear friends,

The Russian war on Ukraine has an impact also on international cooperation in space. A continuation of the cooperation with the Russian space agency Roskosmos seems to be questionable at the moment.

Tough sanctions against the Russian state and its profiteers are right and necessary. They cannot be avoided in space activities either. By his behavior, the head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, Dmitri Rogosin, has damaged the mutual trust.

In this dynamic, the European project for Strategic Autonomy takes on a new urgency. Simultaneously, Europe’s technological independence must be flanked by multilateral efforts at the political level.

The short-term cancellation of the Soyuz rocket for OneWeb underscores that Europe needs better launchers of its own. They must be cost-effective and sustainable. The need for a European megaconstellation came to light twice in the first weeks of the war.

First, by the suspected Russian cyberattack on Viasat satellites and the resulting outage of German wind turbines – here, critical European infrastructure has become collateral damage in an international conflict.

Second, by the deployment of Starlink satellites in Ukraine. It is laudable if Elon Musk supports Ukraine with his services. But a democratic government in need should not depend on the goodwill of individuals. We need satellite-based Internet in public hands.

Strategic autonomy means that Europe is able to have its own access to space and is able to secure its critical infrastructure. Europe must be able to carry out essential missions with its own know-how. But technological independence does not mean isolation.

The greatest challenges of our time – from space debris to climate change – cannot be solved autonomously. A solution can only be achieved by working together. Cooperation here is not a question of wanting, but of having to.

Today, when technological cooperation in space is increasingly being called into question, an international political discussion of space activities becomes all the more important. The project of Strategic Autonomy must be flanked by multilateral space diplomacy.

Contact:
Dennis Yuecel
Communications Niklas Nienass MEP

Invitation – ESFRI 20th Anniversary Conference

European Research Infrastructures at the heart of scientific discoveries

Dear Colleagues, 

The French Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Académie de sciences, with the support off the European Commission, are pleased to invite you to celebrate ESFRI’s 20th anniversary in Paris on 25 March 2022 at a specific conference that will discuss both the achievements and the future. During this day, prestigious guests will illustrate the connection between European scientific excellence in research and innovation on the one hand, and research infrastructures on the other. 

This conference takes place under the high patronage of the Académie des sciences. It will bring together the many players who make up the ecosystems formed around these infrastructures: representatives of States, regions or local authorities, representatives of the industry, facility managers and, of course, researchers. Together, they will explore the dynamics of the development of a European landscape rich in research infrastructures and that has continuously grown over the past twenty years. Emerging trends and challenges for the future will be discussed as well. 

Two scientific sessions will feature outstanding scientists and young researchers, who will share with the audience major works and discoveries that have benefited from these infrastructures.  

The conference will be open to researchers, students and to the general public.

Please register your request to attend using this form by 5 March 2022. Participation requires physical presence. 

More information on the conference program are available at the event page. Please refer to www.esfri.eu and follow @ESFRI_eu on Twitter to stay up-to-date.

The French Presidency of the EU and ESFRI

14th European Space Conference

14th European Space Conference

An aspiring event will take place on 25-26 January 2022 in Brussels, the 14th European Space Conference, organized by Business Bridge Europe.

The yearly high-level gathering of key stakeholders of the European space activities will return to the Egmont Palace in Brussels for a hybrid event of dynamic and thought-provoking debates and exchanges focusing on the theme:

A New Era for European Space: Turning Vision into Action

The Conference is an ideal event for extensive space policy work, providing the opportunity to European space actors to network and debate on the increasing importance of space for society, economy, climate, environment, security and defense, as well as on new priorities and initiatives that will be crucial to ensuring that Europe remains a leader in space.

Online participation is also foreseen during the whole duration of the event through the European Space Conference virtual platform.

European Research and Innovation Days 2021 Conference Report

The report of the 2021 European Research and Innovation Days taking place earlier this year, was published on 13 of December, the third edition of its kind. It contains summaries and quotes from the event’s 70 online live sessions and workshops, as well as from over 200 consultations between participants and Commission representatives at the virtual Horizon Village.

“European Research and Innovation Days” is the European Commission’s annual flagship Research and Innovation event, bringing together over 21,000 participants, policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and the public to debate and shape the future of research and innovation in Europe and beyond.

The most notable conclusions include:

  • Europe’s collaborative research and innovation at the global scale are key drivers for a greener, healthier and more digital future for all.
  • Europe needs more synergies between policies, programmes and instruments at EU, global, national and local level to remain at the forefront of research and innovation, and to be effective at delivering a sustainable future;
  • Citizens need to continue having the opportunity to add their voice to the conversation about the future of European research and innovation. Civil society can play a crucial role when it comes to implementing the ambitious goals of the twin green and digital transitions of Europe.

The report will serve as a basis for discussions at the Conference on the Future of Europe and will also contribute to other citizen engagement initiatives.

The report and the event recordings are available for consulting and download.

The European Business Summit 2021

The European Business Summit 2021

With the theme “Beyond recovery: Towards a sustainable and innovative Europe,” the European Business Summit (EBS) 2021 is taking place on the 17th and 18th November 2021 as a hybrid event. The event will reflect on businesses’ contribution to the EU’s economic recovery plans, the Green Deal, and the post-Covid-19 roadmap.

You can now register to attend the event.

Browse the programme>>

More information>>

World Space Forum 2021 – ‘Space 4 Climate Action’

The World Space Forum series has become one of the global platforms for facilitating exchanges on best practices and more inter-agency collaboration in support of the internationally agreed global frameworks.

Building on the success of the conferences held in 2019 and 2020, UNOOSA invites you to register for the World Space Forum 2021 to take place fully virtually from 7 – 9 December 2021.

The World Space Forum 2021 programme will offer a platform for showcasing concrete governmental, commercial, academic and civil society actions in support of the work of the United Nations, especially in addressing the climate crisis.

More information about the WSF2021 incl. the latest version of the programme can be found on the UNOOSA website.

Conference on the Future of Europe

European citizens have the opportunity to debate on Europe’s challenges and priorities and stress concrete recommendations for EU action, through the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Conference is placed under the authority of the three institutions: the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission, who have committed to listen to Europeans and to follow up on the recommendations made. 

European citizens, most notably the young ones from all the corners of the European Union, participate in the Conference aspiring to shape the future of Europe. The main components of the Conference are decentralized events, European citizens’ panels, conference plenaries, as well as communication via a multilingual digital platform.

The challenges facing Europe in recent years have made clear the need for open, inclusive and transparent debate about our common future. For this reason, the conference is a unique open forum that enables all Europeans to say what the Union should do and how it should do it to the benefit of all.  Given that, Europe needs to deliver on issues that lie at the heart of citizens’ interest at the economic, social, health and security levels, by putting forward a set of concrete proposals and guidelines.

The Conference on the Future of Europe provides an opportunity to reflect on how to make the EU even better, stronger and more resilient. In order to address the aforementioned issues, the Conference recognizes the need to improve and create a genuine dialogue between citizens and institutions on the Future of the EU and the big challenges of our time.  

One of the key components of the Conference on the Future of Europe is the Plenary Conference, taking place on the weekend of 23-24 October. It was composed of representatives from the three European Institutions, from all national Parliaments, from the EYF, as well as the European Citizen’s panels.

The final outcome of the Conference will be presented in a report, while the three institutions will examine swiftly how to follow up effectively to this report in accordance with the treaties.

For more information:

https://futureu.europa.eu/pages/about

https://futureu.europa.eu/pages/plenary

Promoting industry-academia knowledge exchange through co-creation teams

The Commission has tested a new concept to promote demand-driven industry-academia knowledge exchange and uptake: the setting up of international co-creation teams of students and researchers to tackle companies’ research and innovation challenges. A recently published feasibility study shows the benefit.

Industry-academia interactions are key to knowledge valorisation. They foster a mutually benefitting exchange between knowledge generators and business actors, boost private investments in research, lead to more inventions and patents, facilitate the flow of latest technologies and talents into companies, enhance researchers’ and students’ skills and understanding of the market needs, and nurture an entrepreneurial mind-set.

In line with the new European Research Area and the European Skills Agenda, the study tested the feasibility of a co-creation-based model in a European-wide setup that complements the existing university-business collaboration schemes. Five international teams of students, researchers and enterprise representatives were set up. They followed a structured process guided by expert facilitators, which combined elements of design thinking, strategic foresight and systems thinking leveraging creativity from the diversity of the team.

The teams explored challenges related to business and society relevant phenomena, such as platform economy, alternative energy sources, Artificial Intelligence, business models and future consumer behaviour and values. The co-creation process produced concrete scenarios as well as product and service concepts to help participating companies to steer successfully their business and overcome the challenges.

The students who participated in the co-creation teams were highly satisfied. They could develop their personal skills in particular related to creativity, collaboration, entrepreneurship and critical thinking and in terms of presenting a positive image in front of future employers. The participating companies appreciated the experience and considered the co-creation team to be a significant new tool in the business development and in building interactions with academia.

The study clearly shows that the co-creation experience is relevant and adds value for all parties. In addition, it creates innovation sparks and ideas that act as inputs to the next stages of the innovation process.

The lessons learned and the experiences from the feasibility study will give input to the Guiding Principles for knowledge valorisation, which are being prepared, under the new European Research Area (ERA – action 7). The Guiding Principles will update and extend the 2008 Commission Recommendation on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities, including industry-academia knowledge exchange.

Strengthening and connecting science for policy ecosystems across the EU

The EU Commission is organising a series of short, virtual workshops about ‘science for policy ecosystems’ between September 2020 and September 2022.

Are you working at national, regional, and local level in government, parliament, academia or civil society on improving the use of scientific evidence for policy-making?

Would you like to learn more about Europe’s best practice in evidence-informed policy-making?

Would you be interested in developing your ideas and projects for stronger science for policy ecosystems with like-minded professionals from all over Europe?

Then this opportunity is for you.

Registeration>>

For more information>>

EC Commissioner Breton visits ESA-ESTEC

On Tuesday 7 September ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher took Commissioner Breton on a tour of ESA’s European Space Technology and Research Centre, ESTEC, at Noordwijk in the Netherlands.

They looked in at ESTEC’s Navigation Labaratory, which includes the complete navigation module of a Galileo satellite, kept in cleanroom conditions for technical experiments and trouble shooting.

Commissioner Breton also inspected the six Galileo ‘Batch 3’ satellites currently being tested for space at ESTEC’s Test Centre, the largest satellite test facility in Europe. Two of these Galileo satellites are due for launch later this year.

https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2021/09/EC_Commissioner_Breton_visits_ESA-ESTEC

Note on UK Associated Status in Horizon Europe

Note on UK Associated Status in Horizon Europe

Once the UK has Associated status in Horizon Europe, UK-based entities will have equivalent participation rights to those from Member States and can lead projects as coordinators (subject to call specifications). Researchers can participate in all parts of the programme including industrial partnerships, can lead consortia and influence key collaborative projects, and can participate and benefit from programme top-ups for co-funded programmes. However, the UK has opted out of the European Innovation Council Fund, and the EC has the right to focus some initiatives on Member States only.

The following is a link to the European Commission’s Q&A on the UK’s participation in Horizon Europe  members: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/research_and_innovation/strategy_on_research_and_innovation/documents/ec_rtd_uk-participation-in-horizon-europe.pdf

Concerning UK Associated status

This is well in hand – it is part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) signed on 23 December 2020 – so it is all in place ready to be signed. There are 18 countries associating and none of them have signed the formal agreement yet. In fact, the UK is ahead of most of the other countries as we have the terms of the agreement in place from the TCA. However, this does not limit UK applications, which can now proceed – the Association agreement just has to be in place by the time of the grant signature, which is normally about 8 months after a call deadline at the earliest. UK research agencies and government are strongly encouraging UK community to apply as it did in H2020. National Contact points in Europe Union member states are also confirming to their members that UK involvement is expected and consortia should include UK partners if they are appropriate to the project.

The List of Participating Countries in Horizon Europe, from the European Commission, lists all 18 countries for which ‘association negotiations are being processed or where association is imminent’.

Commission adopts proposal for a Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe

Commission adopts proposal for a Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe

On July 16th, 2021, the European Commission adopted its proposal for a Council Recommendation on “A Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe” to support the implementation of national European Research Area (ERA) policies.

The Pact proposal defines shared priority areas for joint action in support of the ERA, sets out the ambition for investments and reforms, and constitutes the basis for a simplified policy coordination and monitoring process at EU and Member States’ level through an ERA platform where Member States can share their reform and investment approaches to enhance exchanges of best practices.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/commission-adopts-proposal-pact-research-and-innovation-europe-2021-jul-16_en

Commission to invest €14.7 billion from Horizon Europe for a healthier, greener and more digital Europe

The Commission has adopted the main work programme of Horizon Europe for the period 2021-2022, which outlines the objectives and specific topic areas that will receive a total of €14.7 billion in funding. These investments will help accelerate the green and digital transitions and will contribute to sustainable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and to EU resilience against future crises.

For more information

The Open Space Innovation Platform

The Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP) is a website that enables the submission of novel ideas for space technology and applications.  The platform supports individuals, businesses, universities, organisations who wish to contribute to European space research and interact with space industry experts. It also encourages ideas from legal entities interested in interacting with ESA and gaining funding or support for new research activities.

For more information