Dinner Debate – Planetary exploration inspiring European innovation

Dinner Debate in the European Parliament, 24th April 2018

Europlanet 2020 RI organised a dinner debate in the European Parliament on 24th April 2018, hosted by Marian-Jean Marinescu MEP and attended by Clare Moody MEP, Flavio Zanonato MEP, representatives of Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, European space industry and the European planetary science community.

Planetary exploration inspiring European innovation

Planetary exploration addresses some of humanity’s greatest technical and philosophical challenges: Could we live beyond our planet? Can we use resources in space? What are the opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Space 4.0 environment? Will we find evidence for life elsewhere in our Solar System? Planetary exploration has the potential to drive scientific, technological and commercial innovation, as well as inspire the much needed next generation of scientists and engineers.

Europe has world‐leading facilities and the largest international community of planetary scientists, as well asmore than 1200 SMEs providing technology and services relevant to planetary science spread across all EU Member States. EU support through the Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure and other Horizon 2020 projects has enabled this community to maximise the scientific and innovation return on investment in planetary exploration missions funded by ESA and international agencies. In the coming decade, Europe is taking a leading role in challenging missions to study potential habitats on the icy moons of Jupiter and preparing the facilities needed to analyse samples brought back from Mars. As we move towards the next Multiannual Financial Framework, it is a time of great opportunity and change in the space sector. There is increasing diversity of actors, with commercial players and entrepreneurs participating alongside national and international agencies. This Dinner Debate will discuss how Europe’s planetary exploration programme can drive innovation and competitiveness in European science, industry and SMEs and inspire the next generation of Europe’s STEM workforce.


Mr Marian‐Jean Marinescu, MEP;
Prof Nigel Mason, Coordinator of Europlanet.
Prof Lena Noack, Freie Universität Berlin
Kartik Kumar, Austrian Space Forum, analogue astronaut, Co‐founder & CEO satsearch.co
Dr Marcell Tessenyi, Europlanet 2020 RI Industry Officer, CEO Blue Skies Space Ltd

Image gallery

Briefing Sheets

Impact of European Union Funding on Planetary Science (April 2018)
Europlanet Background (April 2018)
Europlanet Project Summary (April 2018)
Europlanet Participants (April 2018)

Eurospace Exploration WG Key Messages to Europlanet on Planetary Exploration: Inspiring European Innovation