EU Space Week 2022 welcomed over 3000 visitors (with more than 1100 on-site in Prague) and 150 presenters, who joined either in person in Prague or virtually from home in 35 sessions. Needless to say, it was a busy week, with far too much happening to summarise in a single article. So, instead, here are 10 highlights that we took away from four days of informative sessions, insightful keynote speeches and interesting demos from space-based companies.
1. Space is the foundation from which to build Europe’s resilience
Key stakeholders and policymakers shared what they considered to be the most pressing topics facing the EU Space sector. At the top of the list: secured communications, sustainability and resilience. “All the components of the EU Space Programme concur to building Europe’s resilience and leadership in the global space ecosystem,” said European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton.
2. Funding and support are critical
During the CASSINI Overview session, one company noted how the funding and support they received from EUSPA was critical to their early-stage success. “We appreciated talking to someone that knew about the market and the technologies,” they said.
3. EU Space keeps citizens safe
Industry representative reminded that Copernicus and Galileo play a central role in keeping people safe during natural and climate-related disasters, including extreme heatwaves. “By sending timely alerts, hospitals, healthcare providers and emergency first responders can reduce response times and be better prepared to quickly treat victims – all of which helps save lives,” he said.
4. EU Space supports European policies
It has been reminded to all that Copernicus supports key policies like the EU Green Deal and the Digital Transformation. Earth Observation is a key enabler to developing the new digital capacities needed to address a range of societal challenges, including climate change.
5. Making space for the next generation
To evolve, EU Space needs to ensure the next generation of space personnel have the skills they need to succeed – and lead. This starts by bridging the gap between what students learn at university and the needs of the EU Space industry.
6. Diversity matters
Having a diverse workforce is a key factor for a thriving and successful business, and space is no exception. A speaker reminded that innovation comes when there’s diversity.
7. Numbers are stunning
Galileo is a success! During the Galileo Status session, participants were reminded how much Galileo has already achieved – including the fact that there are now over 3.5 billion Galileo-enabled devices have been sold around the world.
8. Users want more
With over 300 EU Space users represented at this year’s User Consultation Platform, EUSPA received a lot of valuable feedback, including the need for more resilience and security, more sustainability, more growth, and even more user engagement.
9. Europe is powered by EU Space
EUSW showcased an array of demos and applications powered by EU Space, including robots for precision agriculture and drones for urban planning. You can see some of the many European companies that exhibited their solutions in the video below.
10. Inclusion matters, and space can help
The EU Space Programme plays an important role in building a more inclusive society. For example, the upcoming Galileo High Accuracy service will be able to improve urban navigation and wayfinding for people with disabilities. It has been recalled that one out of every five people has a disability, so not a niche market and it means that everyone must play a role in making space more inclusive.
See you next year at EU Space Week 2023!
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