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.
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.
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.
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.
The Commission has adopted themain 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.
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.
Ariadna is a mechanism for collaborative joint research projects between ESA’s internal research think tank, the Advanced Concepts Team and academia. It was established in 2004 as an initiative to establish closer link with the European academic community in advanced space technology research.
European Research and Innovation Days is the European Commission’s annual flagship Research and Innovation event, bringing together policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and the public to debate and shape the future of research and innovation in Europe and beyond.
The event will take place online on 23 and 24 June 2021, allowing everyone to get involved from anywhere.
This year marks the start of Horizon Europe, our most ambitious EU research and innovation programme ever and will be a decisive moment to strengthen our European Research Area. Cooperation in research and innovation is essential in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and will pave the way to a greener and more digital future. The European Research and Innovation Days represent a unique opportunity to add your voice to the conversation.
The event is all about collaboration: bringing together individuals and experts from all areas to build connections and ignite a brighter future.
Astronet webinar 11 June 2021 – Defining a science vision and infrastructure roadmap for Europe
As a next step in developing a science vision, Astronet is holding an open webinar to present the current status and seek further advice from the European astronomical community via the EAS. The webinar will include an overview of the process from the chair of the Astronet Board, with presentations from the panels who have been working on draft sections, and plenty of time for questions.
The aim is for further consultation in the next few weeks, followed by production of the report to Astronet before the end of 2021.
Astronet is a consortium of European research funding bodies and national representatives purposed with developing a new science vision and roadmap, taking forward the pioneering and influential reports last updated around 2015. It includes as associates and observers ESA, ESO and the SKA and has close links to APPEC and the EAS.
The webinar is hosted by the EAS and will take place on 11 June, from 8h00 to 13h30 UTC (ie 9h-14:30h UK, 10h-15h30 CEST).
Registration is open now and you can complete this here
“The societal benefits of successful research and innovation are so high that public investment in this sector remains essential for the future of our society. At the European level, this was recognised in 2007 with the establishment of the European Research Council (ERC) to fund the highest quality curiosity-driven research, and in 2021 with the founding of the European Innovation Council (EIC) to support ground-breaking innovations. Both institutions aim to nurture the best talent in research and in innovation. Their presence under the same framework programme, Horizon Europe, recognises that many ERC researchers are also innovators and many EIC innovators also are researchers.”
Action Plan on Synergies between civil, defense and space industries
On 13 April, the ITRE had a presentation by the Commission on the Action Plan on Synergies between civil, defense and space industries, which aims to further enhance and shape these interfaces to the maximum extent.
During the ITRE committee meeting, the Commission presented the action plan that is built upon three overall objectives:
enhancing complementarity between relevant EU programmes (synergies)
promoting EU funding for research and development on defense and space for the economy at large
facilitating the use of civil industry research achievements and civil-driven innovation in European defense cooperation projects
To this end, the Commission proposes the launch of three flagship projects as possible game-changers:
EU drone technologies
EU space-based global secure communications system
2 billion Galileo-enabled smartphones sold until today
The Galileo programme has reached an important milestone, with an estimated 2 billion Galileo-enabled smartphones sold until today. The first Galileo-enabled smartphone hits the market in 2016 and since then has expanded rapidly.
GSA Guerric Pont, Acting Head of Galileo Services Department said: “2 billion smartphones sold is a remarkable achievement, and bears testimony to the fact that the market understands and appreciates the added value that Galileo brings in terms of availability, robustness and reliability’’.
1. How to prepare a successful proposal in Horizon Europe (Webinar on 24 March 2021): Link: Recorded Session
2. A successful proposal for Horizon Europe: Scientific-technical excellence is key, but don’t forget the other aspects (Webinar on 21 April 2021): Registration here This webinar is a continuation of the session on “How to prepare a successful proposal in Horizon Europe”, held on the 24th March 2021. It provides additional details on the preparation of a proposal for Horizon Europe, like open science, gender dimension or dissemination, exploitation and communication aspects.
Establishing the space programme of the Union and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme
RECOMMENDATION FOR SECOND READING on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Union Space Programme and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme and repealing Regulations (EU)
European Ways Forward for Space Traffic Management
SPACEWAYS intends to create a common understanding of the guidelines and standards necessary to develop a Space Traffic Management concept for the European Union. The 18-month program aims to analyse the policy, legal and economic context of STM.
SPACEWAYS intends to provide guidelines to support European policy making thereupon.
SPACEWAYS will identify stakeholders and users’ needs by associating them with the project through a networking platform.
Moreover, specific attention will be devoted to mega constellation management, on-orbit operations or launch and re-entry future activities.
The European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) manages European programmes and initiatives on behalf of the European Commission, and it works closely together with its parent Directorate-Generals such as DG CNECT, DEFIS, GROW, RTD.
The HaDEA addresses the European Commission’s ambition to help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe at its heart, which will be greener, more digital, more resilient and better fit for the current and forthcoming challenges.
The expected total budget managed by the HaDEA will amount to over €20 billion over the 7 years period of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework.
First calls under Horizon Europe to be launched by the European Research Council ERC Kicks off Horizon Europe
The EU institutions reached a political agreement on Horizon Europe on 11 December 2020 and set the budget for Horizon Europe at €95.5 billion in current prices. On this basis, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU proceed towards the adoption of the legal acts. The work programme for the European Research Council was adopted on 22 February 2021. For additional information: Click Here
European Research Council approved a €1.9 billion financing package to allow some 1,000 top researchers to pursue frontier research.
The funding will support jobs for an estimated 6,860 postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and other research staff employed in ERC-funded teams.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Research, Innovation, Culture, Education and Youth highlighted the importance of the adopted Work Programme as that will support top researchers and their teams to pursue frontier research at different stages of their careers. Top researchers considered as the future of European research.
Additionally, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council welcomed the adopted Work Programme as an important tool to back Europe’s researchers and their most innovative ideas. Thanks to the European Commission’s commitment, and the outstanding dedication of the Executive Agency staff the first call for proposal have already launched in 25 February.
First Calls for proposal in 2021
European Research Council’s Starting Grants as supporting top researchers to start their own independent research team or programme. Total budget: €619 million. The call launched it on 25 February and a deadline of 8 April.
Consolidator grants for researchers who are consolidating their own independent research team or programme. Total budget of €633 million. The call launched it on 11 March and a deadline for applications is 20 April.
European Research Council will launch a call for Advanced Grants for leading advanced investigators. Total budget of €626 million. The call will be launched on 20 May and a deadline on 31 August.
The United Nations/United Arab Emirates Forum focused on ‘Space for our Future’ to maximize the efforts in ensuring that the benefits of space are brought to everyone, everywhere. The 2020 edition sought to facilitate the exchange of best practices and more inter-agency collaboration in support of the SDGs so that space assets, exploration and utilization finally become more universally used as one of the key tools for a better future.
Available materials (Presentations of the online virtual meeting):Click here
Establishing the space programme of the Union and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme / ITRE (Committee on Industry, Research & Energy)
Massimiliano Salini(Rapporteur/EPP) highlighted the importance of the reached agreement for the future of the European strategy in terms of guaranteeing services to the level that its citizens expects and deserves. Space sector is going to be a strategic sector for when it comes to the recovery from COVID 19. For additional information: Click here
13th European Space Conference Space Embracing a Changing World: Green, Digital, Resilience & Security
Charles Michel, President of the EU Council laid out the overall strategy at a particular geopolitical moment for Europe. He stressed the importance of the Space Action in order to reach Europe’s strategic objectives:
Climate and Digital Transition
Mobilized unprecedented means to meet our objectives (Data, Cloud Computing and AI)
Europe should become more strategically autonomous where unified action of the 27 European countries is needed
For additional information (Video recordings): Click here