The 16th European Space Conference: A Confluence of Ideas, Innovation, and Policy

Space Industry Leaders, Policy Makers, and Enthusiasts,

We are thrilled to extend an invitation to the 16th European Space Conference, the premier event in the space industry calendar. Scheduled for 23-24 January 2024, this pivotal conference will be held at the SQUARE Brussels, with an option to participate online for those unable to join us in person.

Dynamic Programme of the Conference – 23 January 2024:

The first day of the conference promises a rich tapestry of sessions, keynotes, and dialogues, meticulously designed to catalyze progress in European space policy and industry.

  1. Main Sessions: Delve into a series of comprehensive sessions covering a wide array of topics at the forefront of space technology and policy. These sessions are crafted to reflect the current challenges and opportunities in the space sector.
  2. Keynote Addresses: Be inspired by a lineup of distinguished speakers. These keynote addresses will be delivered by prominent figures in the space industry, offering profound insights into the future of space exploration and technology.
  3. One-to-One Dialogues: Witness engaging and insightful one-to-one dialogues between key personalities from various facets of the space domain. These intimate conversations are designed to provide deeper understanding and diverse perspectives on pressing space issues.
  4. Targeted Theme Sessions: Participate in specific sessions focusing on targeted themes. These discussions will feature key personalities from the European space domain, including high-level representatives from EU institutions, Member States, the European Space Agency, national space agencies, and the European industry.
  5. Networking Opportunities: Connect with industry peers, policy makers, and space enthusiasts. Exchange ideas, forge new partnerships, and collaborate with experts and innovators from across the globe.
  6. Exhibitions: Explore a range of exhibits showcasing cutting-edge space technologies and services, presented by leading companies and emerging startups in the space sector.

This year’s European Space Conference is not just a gathering; it’s a crucible where ideas meet innovation, and policy meets practice. Your presence will contribute significantly to shaping the European space policy landscape for years to come.

Registration and Additional Information:

For more details on the event, registration, speakers, and accommodations, please visit the website.

16th European Space Conference, January 2024 – Registration is now open

The 16th European Space Conference will take place in Brussels, on 23-24 of january, 2024.

The conference will comprise several main sessions, punctuated by keynote addresses and one-to-one dialogues.

The focus will be placed on space economic security, autonomous access to space, the future of space connectivity, space commercialisation, the upcoming EU Space Law, the benefits of space services and applications supporting the Green Deal and SDGs.

In light of the unprecedented geopolitical context that Europe is facing, we will also debate the synergies between space and defence and the different ways forward for cooperation in the space domain with Europe’s partners across the world.

Specific sessions dedicated to targeted themes will host key personalities from the European space domain, including high-level representatives from EU institutionsMember States, the European Space Agency, national space agencies and the European industry.

To see the full programm and get your ticket, please follow the link.

Soapbox Science 2023: Women Scientists Take the Floor at the Heart of Brussels

Soapbox Science 2023: Women Scientists Take the Floor at the Heart of Brussels

This Saturday afternoon, 12 women scientists in Belgium will be bringing their science to the public during the Soapbox Science Brussels event.

Soapbox Science is a science outreach initiative that aims to promote the visibility of women and non-binary scientists and their research by bringing them on the streets to reach the public. Soapbox Science events transform public areas in discussion forums based on Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner where scientists, on their soapboxes, talk about their research to the people passing by.

Details: Saturday, 24 June 2023, from 2-5 pm, at the Carrefour de l’Europe/Europakruispunt, in front of the Central Station. 

Europlanet Dinner Debate in the European Parliament

Europlanet Dinner Debate in the European Parliament

On 24 January 2023, Europlanet and Niklas Nienass, MEP, co-hosted a Dinner Debate in the European Parliament. The theme of the debate was “Promoting the importance of space policies and a European Space Strategy”.

The evening started with an introduction by Mr Nienass and a video message from the Europlanet 2024 RI Coordinator and President of the Europlanet Society, Nigel Mason, who was unable to attend in person. Over dinner, a number of invited participants gave short keynote speeches, and this was followed by an open debate.


Niklas Nienass, MEP, co-host
Nigel Mason/Barbara Cavalazzi, Europlanet, co-host

Short keynote note speeches
Marian-Jean Marinescu, MEP
Rodrigo da Costa, Head of EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA)
Josef Aschbacher, Director of European Space Agency (ESA)
Kai-Uwe Schrogl, President of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL)
Christoph Kutz, Head of DG DEFIS
Ann-Carine Vandaele, Vice President of Europlanet Society Executive Board
Charles Galland, Policy Manager, ASD-Eurospace

Debate (moderated by Niklas Nienass)

Details of the Dinner Debate: “Promoting the importance of space policies and a European Space Strategy”.

Europe’s capacities in the space sector are continuously growing; we have world-leading programmes covering all areas of space activities and the largest international community of planetary scientists. The importance of space endeavors slowly comes to overall public awareness and this is mirrored in increased private interest as well as governmental spending. As Europe, we have enormous potential going forward but currently, we are lacking a common policy framework, legislative basis and overall strategy. We need to keep building the coherent, well-networked and collaborative community we have and fully exploit the resources at our disposal. Europe is taking a leading role in challenging missions aiming at changing the space sector. 

This high-level event should bring decision-makers, academics and researchers together to discuss the importance of a European Space Strategy, status quo and common visions to go forward.

MEP Niklas Nienass is Member of the European Parliament for The Greens/EFA, where he is responsible for space policy. A strong supporter of the European new space economy, he is committed to establish a European space legislation and set international standards for space traffic management. He has a seat in the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), where he negotiates space related legislative files on behalf of the Greens/EFA group. In 2020 he graduated with a Master’s degree in Good Governance with a thesis on international space law.

The Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (Europlanet 2024 RI) is the culmination of a series of projects funded by successive European Union Framework Programmes (FP6 and FP7) to build a research infrastructure integrating planetary science across the European Research Area. Europlanet 2024 RI delivers access to virtual services and transnational access to the world’s largest collection of planetary simulation and analysis facilities. Europlanet is equally well placed within the Horizon Europe strategic objectives, focusing on industrial applications, development of digital technologies, EO services, AI and machine learning. The Europlanet Society, launched in 2018, is structured around 10 Regional Hubs and it aims to build sustainable capacity and cascade expertise in stakeholder engagement through the European planetary community. Europlanet focuses on evidence-based policy, informing policy makers on the scientific, industrial and socio-economic impacts of planetary science, at European and national level. They are also engaging with the planetary science community raising awareness and encouraging its engagement with policy makers and industry across Europe, in particular with SMEs.

Ann Carine Vandaele is the Europlanet Society’s new President Elect

Ann Carine Vandaele is the Europlanet Society’s new President Elect

Ann Carine Vandaele, Head of Planetary Atmospheres Research Unit at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Brussels, was announced as the President-Elect of the Europlanet Society during the General Assembly on 22 September. Ann Carine will take over as the second President of the Europlanet Society in September 2023 when Nigel Mason‘s term of office comes to an end.

In her election Manifesto, Ann Carine explained her vision for the Europlanet Society:

After a PhD at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, I joined the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy where, today, I am head of the Planetary Atmospheres Division. My main scientific expertise lies in the development of remote sensing instruments, spectroscopy used by such instruments, and radiative transfer modelling through atmospheres. I am involved in several space missions (Mars and Venus Express, ExoMars TGO, JUICE, ARIEL, EnVision) and associations (the International Commission of Planetary Atmospheres and Evolution, a commission of IAMAS/IUGG; the IUGG Belgian National Committee of Geodesy and Geophysics; the Belgian National Committee on Space Research, YouSpace! ). I am the president of the Société Royale Belge d’Astronomie, de Météorologie et de Physique du Globe, whose members are academics, researchers but also amateur astronomers. I am currently the chair of the Benelux regional Hub of the Europlanet Society. 

My main driver is to promote collaboration and exchange between researchers in Planetary Sciences. For me, it is important to encourage relations between education, research and industry to increase the visibility and the impact of planetary science. The Europlanet Society has the potential to be that link. I believe that the Society needs to be present at all the stages of a researcher’s life, from the very beginning, i.e. at schools and university. It is fundamental to engage a wide variety of audiences and sectors of the society not usually interested in or even excluded from science, offering to the wider general public the possibility to take part in planetary sciences. The Society should also be an active interlocutor by engaging with decision makers, like the European Space Agency or the European Commission.

Find out more about the role of the President and the Executive Board of the Europlanet Society.

Regional Hubs at EPSC2021

Regional Hubs at EPSC2021

Let us show you how the Europlanet Society and its regional hubs can serve you. We will present you the benefits of joining the hubs and will gladly hear about your needs.

12:45 Welcome (Séverine Robert)

12:50 Why am I a member of the EPS? (Miguel Lopez Valverde)

12:55 Funded project: Mars Atlas (Henrik Hargitai)

13:05 Why am I a member of the EPS? (Jonathan Merrison)

13:10 Funded project: Storytelling workshop (Arianna Piccialli)

13:20 Why am I a member of the EPS? (Nicholas Achilleos)

13:25 Collaborative framework: Europlanet Telescope Network (Manuel Scherf)

13:35 Why am I a member of the EPS? (Lena Noack)

13:40 General discussion: What do you want the EPS to do for you? (All Panelists)

14:10 Wrap up (Séverine Robert)

14:15 End of meeting


The Europlanet Society Regional Hubs support the development of planetary science at a national and regional level, particularly in countries and areas that are currently under-represented within the community.

Our Hub Committees organise networking events and workshops to support the research community, as well as to build links with amateur astronomers, industrial partners, policymakers, educators, the media and the wider public. Europlanet Society members are welcome to participate in the activities of one or more Hubs.

The 10 Regional Hubs established to date are:

Training in Storytelling and Theatre as a Tool for Science Outreach

Training in Storytelling and Theatre as a Tool for Science Outreach

The Europlanet Society’s Committee Funding Scheme provides awards of €1000-5000 to supports projects that further the aims of the Europlanet Society and actively involve its members. In 2020, the Society supported an application by the Benelux Hub for a project called ‘Planetary Atmospheres Accessible to All’ that would enable researchers to collaborate with performers and storytellers in producing unique augmented lectures that use performing arts techniques to engage public audiences.

This online workshop, aimed at 10 selected BIRA / IASB / Europlanet researchers, has provided the practical tools to become storytellers of science with a special emphasis on addressing a general audience and/or students.

The workshop was divided into three half-day sessions (11, 14, 18 December 2020, 09:00 → 13:00 ).

The first half-day focused on defining and prioritizing the key themes which help to communicate Aeronomy to target audiences, by connecting them to societal issues. A process of collective intelligence and design thinking has been used to facilitate the emergence of key themes that can be integrated in the Augmented Lectures, if they will be produced.

Based on the outcomes, the second session has provided training in the creation of a science outreach story and its delivery (storytelling). We focused on and applied the fundamental ingredients of stories (starting from a simplified Hero’s Journey). Each participant has had the chance to prepare one short story on his/her topic of interest.

During the third half-day session, these stories have been presented to invited artists, and possible collaborations have been explored between art-science pairs to cocreate Augmented Lectures to further enhance the project.

The online workshop by Dr Andrea Brunello and Dr Pierre Echard of Jet Propulsion Theatre (JPT) was supported by the Europlanet Society Benelux Hub.

Organisers: Dr Andrea Brunello (JPT), Dr Ann Carine Vandaele (BIRA-IASB), Dr Arianna Piccialli (BIRA-IASB), Karolien Lefever (Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy), Dr Pierre Echard (JPT)