2 billion Galileo-enabled smartphones sold until today

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’’.

More information here

Training Webinars

Training Webinars

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.

3. Other specialised webinars for participants will be announced in the news section of the F&T Portal

Establishing the space programme of the Union and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme

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)

Date appointed
Massimiliano Salini


More information here

Introducing ESA Agenda 2025

Introducing ESA Agenda 2025

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher has worked with the Member States to define new priorities and goals for ESA for the coming years.

ESA Agenda 2025 outlines the challenges ahead but also for the longer term in maintaining and growing Europe’s role in the space economy.

Main priorities:    

  • Strengthen ESA – EU relations  
  • Boost commercialization for a green and digital Europe  
  • Strengthen space for safety and security  
  • Address programme challenges  Complete the ESA transformation

More information here

European Ways Forward for Space Traffic Management

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.

More information here

Conference on the future of Europe – campaign materials

Conference on the future of Europe – campaign materials

The Conference on the Future of Europe is a chance for all Europeans to make their voices heard. Use the recommended tools and get involved in shaping the EU’s future.

The EU is looking for your ideas on what Europe’s future should look like as part of its Conference on the Future of Europe initiative.

More information here

European Health and Digital Executive Agency

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.

More information here

POLINSAR 2021 – 10th International Workshop on Science and Applications of SAR Polarimetry and Polarimetric Interferometry

26 April 2021 30 April 2021

Online Event

The Workshops will bring together:

  • ESA Principal Investigators, scientists and students working in the field of SAR Polarimetry and Polarimetric Interferometry;
  • Biomass science network;
  • Users of data from current and future SAR missions like SENTINEL-1, BIOMASS, ALOS-2, RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), NOVASAR-S, SAOCOM;
  • Representatives from National, European and International space and value adding industry.

Abstract submission open until 16 March 2021.



Since 2010, Europlanet has had an active programme of engaging policy makers with the cutting-edge science and technological challenges of planetary science and exploration. We have organised one-to-one briefings, dinner debates and other events aimed at Members of the European Parliament,  European Commission officials and key industry and policy groups.

Latest Policy News


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


Check out the Europlanet Society policy briefing sheets, the Science for Policy Handbook, and ESPAS (European Strategy and Policy Analysis System).

Exhibition in the European Parliament

Europlanet took part in an exhibition in the European Parliament in Brussels, as part of a week of events for the 8th European Innovation Summit (8th EIS) and the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Annual Lecture from 14-18th November 2016. The Europlanet display included a model of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (contributed by the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, BIRA-IASB) and a Virtual Reality experience for exploring the sights and sounds of the surface of Mars using real data from NASA missions (contributed by VR2Planets).

Dinner Debates

Dinner debates offer an opportunity to collaborate with Members of the European Parliament,  European Commission officials and key industry and policy groups.

First calls under Horizon Europe to be launched by the European Research Council ERC Kicks off Horizon Europe

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.

World Space Forum 2020

World Space Forum 2020

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

Video recordings of the session: Click here

Establishing the space programme of the Union and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme / ITRE (Committee on Industry, Research & Energy)

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

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

For the meeting minutes: Click here

1st Regional Hub Policy-Industry Officers meeting

1st Regional Hub Policy-Industry Officers meeting

The 1st Regional Hub Policy – Industry officers meeting took place on December 10, 2020, with the participation of 24 Europlanet policy and industry officers representing most regional hubs.

The local perspective’s importance to build the Europlanet policy strategy and links to the industry was raised. The collection of country-specific space strategies and building a directory of expertise were some of the issues discussed. 

Workshop: ‘Common Challenges and Actions for Distributed Research Infrastructures in Europe’

17 March 2021 @ 2:00 pm 18 March 2021 @ 5:00 pm UTC+1



The European landscape of research infrastructures has evolved significantly over the past decades, namely by witnessing an increasing number of institutions, facilities and laboratories that have organized and consolidated their operations and services offered to the research community across countries. With this workshop we would like to invite the RI community to reflect on current challenges and explore future options for developing and sustaining their operations and demonstrate their impact in Europe. The workshop is covering all fields of research and focuses on mid- and small-scale, distributed physical infrastructures, and those RIs that offer Trans-National Access or similar programs.

The workshop is addressing primarily research infrastructure managers and operators, but it is open to all interested participants.

Register here

Please note that the deadline for registrations is 16 March 2021 at 17h00 CET 


ESF-Science Connect and Europlanet Society


Prof. Nigel Mason, University of Kent, UK  
Prof. Sylvie Jacquemot, Ecole Polytechnique, France  
Dr. Lavanya Premvardhan, Institut Curie, France   
Dr. Francesco Loreto, CNR, Italy  
Ms. Niamh Flavin, Marine Institute, Ireland 


Dr. Ana Helman, ESF, ahelman[at]esf[dot]org


14:00 – 17:00 Day 1 : Common challenges

14:00 – 15:00: Session 1 – Setting the Scene

  • Welcome and introduction (ESF)
  • Exploiting the intellectual, scientific and human capital of distributed RIs – Nigel Mason, Europlanet 2024 RI, University of Kent, UK
  • Evolution of transnational and virtual access programs and their implementation under Horizon Europe  – Lorenza Saracco, European Commission

15:00 – 15:30: Coffee Break

15:30 – 17:00: Session 2 – RIs’ contribution to European research and innovation missions

  • Round table: contributions from participating RIs
  • Experiences from the Covid-19 pandemics – expanding access capabilities of physical distributed RIs
  • Discussion: How can community driven distributed RIs respond to challenges defined in Horizon Europe?

14:00 – 17:00 Day 2 : Common actions and way forward

14:00 – 15:30: Session 3 – Sustainability

  • National support for distributed research infrastructures – case studies from countries: Italy (Francesco Loreto, CNR), Germany (Annika Thies, Helmholtz Association)France (TBC).
  • Models for sustainability: Panel with representatives from RIs established as projects, societies, networks, ERICs, etc. – Claes-Göran Wahlstrom – LaserLab, Ondrej Hradil CEITEC, Stefan Jungbluth – EVI/TRANSVAC, Gerry Sutton – MaRINERG-I, Geert Van Minnebruggen – VBI, Simon Krek – ELEXIS

15:30 – 15:45: Coffee Break

15:45 – 17:00: Session 4 – Going forward

  • Assessing the impact of research infrastructures – Elina Griniece, EFIS, RI-PATHS project
  • Discussion on future actions
  • Highlights and wrap-up

Review of Europlanet Virtual Industry-Policy session at EPSC 2020

Review of Europlanet Virtual Industry-Policy session at EPSC 2020

This guest post by the Europlanet Industry and Policy teams summarises the Industry-Policy session that took place during EPSC2020.

A virtual Industry-Policy session was organised on 29 September 2020 as part of the Europlanet Science Congress 2020 (EPSC 2020), the largest planetary science meeting in Europe.

The session focused on:

  • Painting the landscape of planetary research in Europe – future missions and the role of Agencies
  • Industry – research collaboration for innovation: the benefits for society and growth
  • Funding opportunities; challenging decisions in the context of Horizon Europe in times of crisis
  • The essential role of space as a strategic asset for Europe
  • Raising awareness of the successes of European Space Programmes, in particular when it comes to inspirational science e.g. planetary sciences, and their potential for innovation

This was a high level event featuring among the main speakers MEPs, EC officials, agency representatives, SMEs and other stakeholders. 

The essential role of planetary exploration and the need to maintain generous funding for space programmes was particularly highlighted by the first speaker, MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament Dimitris Papadimoulis. In the grim landscape of significant budgetary cuts announced by the EU leaders in July 2020 on the overall budget for science and technology, including space, it is important to highlight that: “planetary and space exploration is a human endeavor that encompasses scientific, technological and economic challenges and bears long-term benefits for society. It stimulates innovation, boosts technological development, motivates young people towards highly qualified careers and may lead to unique benefits for the planet”.

Dimitris Papadimoulis MEP

Space and planetary science, besides their own merit also teach us about our own planet and how we can live here in a more sustainable fashion.

“When it comes to green and digital transition, I think the space opportunities here are key for achieving it,” said Ville Niinistö, Finish MEP and former Minister of Environment, pointing out that space technology is about exploration but also about sustainability which creates benefits. MEP Niinistö challenged planetary research officials to give public decision makers more tools in order to make better decisions and reach viable solutions.

Ville Niinistö MEP

The need to establish a unique European space strategy was raised by Niklas Nienaß, German MEP, who stressed that: “we need to take the step forward from the science fiction side that we seem to be living in at the moment to the actual science that we actually have”. It is essential for society and politicians to realise how important European space faring programs are how much strategic value is embedded in space, to achieve more funding and establish a unique European Space Strategy. And for this to happen, we need more scientists to lobby politicians, as well as raise the profile of successful EU/ESA missions so that ESA (not just NASA) receives broader society recognition. MEP Nienaß also raised the important issue of science education proposing the establishment of a European Space Academy to introduce young people in all fields concerning space faring. 

Niklas Nienaß MEP

The EU space policy and funding current and future strategy was outlined by Michal Spiechowicz, of the Space Policy Department of European Commission’s DG DEFIS, who put an emphasis on the need to foster better integration with space assets, in the context of the twin transition that Europe faces. “The EU space programs support both the digital and green callenges: Copernicus to monitor and map Earth, land, seas, and atmosphere, and Galileo, to help us navigate and position. They are in fact, nothing else than global-scale, autonomous European digital infrastructures.” The third EU priority being resilience, Mr Spiechowicz mentioned that, if we work on an ambitious project of secure connectivity by satellites, within five to seven years we could have an alternative European infrastructure that would drastically enhance Europe’s resilience. He also mentioned several upcoming funding opportunities for the space industry in the post-covid context. EU members states could embed data services in their national reform, recovery and resilience programmes, this would enable them to apply for funds under EU Regional and Structural funds.

Michal Spiechowicz, DG DEFIS

Fabio Favata from ESA highlighted Europe’s vast capabilities in science and industry. He noted ESA does regular industry days and showcases for member states, and builds up a portfolio of industrial capabilities. As an example, In Hungary, Tamas Bárczy from Admatis Ltd. who has been involved in three ESA missions, presented an association of 45 SMEs in the space sector called HUNSPACE. Fabio Favata also commented that academics shouldn’t feel reserved about speaking with industries and to initiate collaborations; there are great synergies in the skillsets repective to each domain. 

Fabio Favata, ESA
Tamas Bárczy, Admatis Ltd

The virtual session featured several examples of successful Industry-Academia collaborations. Jörn Helbert, the Department Head of Planetary Laboratories of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), highlighted quite a few: A Berlin facility to do measurements at very high temperatures, funded by the Europlanet 2020 RI project, is an extremely valuable asset for planetary scientists to measure the hot surface of Mercury and the even hotter surface of Venus, look at volcanic surfaces on Jupiter’s moon, Io, etc. And inversely, an example of a direct spin-off from astrobiology research: a team of scientists who are studying the effects of humidity on microbes, so basically how would potential life survive on Mars, are now also working with two small SMEs, developing a trace humidity generator that will be used for industrial applications. He highlighted the two-way nature of this collaboration, with commercial customers using a university facility that contains SME-built equipment. 

Jörn Helbert, DLR

In a similar manner, Giovanni Martucci (ALTEC) highlighted the value of collaborations between planetary science missions and industry, with the example of ALTEC providing operational support to ESA missions, with a co-located team at the ExoMars ROCC facility.

Giovanni Martucci (ALTEC)

Finally, Jeronimo Bernard-Salas, from one of our partner companies ACRI-ST, showed that collaborations with academic networks can lead to direct funding, with the success of the H2020 EXPLORE program selection, containing multiple Europlanet member organisations. This programme is based on collaborations with the planetary science community on exploitation of space science data including through the use of machine learning. Jeronimo also highlighted the potential for industry collaborations to valorise academic research, and open the door for new funding opportunities.

Jeronimo Bernard-Salas, ACRI-ST

A debate has followed the main deliberations, focusing on how Europe’s Planetary Exploration programme can drive innovation and competitiveness in European Research, Industry and SMEs, impact the society and inspire the next generation of Europe’s STEM workforce. The debate was moderated by Nigel Mason and it was possible for viewers to submit questions via the Q&A facility on Zoom. The questions, addressed mostly to the MEPs another policy speakers, concerned a range of subjects such as: best practices for scientists to lobby politicians and the underlying issue of lobbying time conflicting with research priorities, University Master programmes on space as an opportunity for collaboration with industry, or the organisation of large-scale space education opportunities with EU support.

The virtual event was very well attended by ~100 participants. The recording of the full session can be found here.

Europlanet Industry

Europlanet Policy