The European Union is investing more and more in its space infrastructure to ensure the operability of the EU Space Programme and that EU citizens make the most of the services offered.
2022 had a lot in store for #EUSpace; the addition of two Galileo satellites in orbit; the launch of the EGNOS GEO-4 payload; preparations for two new services the OSNMA, the Galileo HAS and many upgrades to the systems’ ground infrastructures.
Last November, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the new flagship component of the EU Space Programme, IRIS2. This multi-orbital constellation will combine the benefits offered by Low Earth (LEO), Geostationary (GEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. It is set to provide secure communication services to the EU and its Member States, as well as broadband connectivity for European citizens, private companies and governmental authorities.
EUSPA will continue to take a central role in the implementation of this growing EU Space Programme. Thus, the agency will grow. To respond to an additional increase of staff in the coming years, the agency headquarters will be then transferred in 2025 to Centrum Nová Palmovka (the New Palmovka building) in Prague 8.
Visualisations of the new building were made available to the public during a press conference which took place today at the agency’s current headquarters.
The new premises will be located just outside the Palmovka metro station, a transportation hub easily accessible to employees as well as visitors via tram, bus and metro.
More than a staff increase
The number of critical services and everyday devices that depend on satellite-based data continues to increase. But, with this increase comes new challenges – including cybersecurity. EUSPA has a central role to play in guaranteeing the operational security of the EU Space Programme both in space and on the ground.
The government of the Czech Republic also offered the agency the possibility to use part of the state datacentre in Zeleneč, Prague. The Data Centre will in particular allow the Agency to strengthen its overall resilience.
Read this: EUSPA: the gatekeeper to a secure EU Space Programme
Larger headquarters generate even larger benefits for the host country
‘’Our agency and its staff not only significantly contribute to the local economy of Prague, but also to the country’s economy overall’’ explains EUSPA Executive Director, Rodrigo da Costa.
Each year until the end of 2022, EUSPA’s headquarters boost Czech GDP by€13.4M on average resulting in almost €140Min total in 2022 prices. This amount includes rent for the headquarters, as well as direct and indirect contributions by EUSPA staff to the Czech economy.
What’s more, the agency activates the economy by supporting conference tourism. In 2022 alone, over 4000 visitors from all across the EU travelled to Prague to attend EU Space Week 2022, the Entrepreneurship Day and other workshops. The presence of our agency has also supported the country’s very vibrant start-up ecosystem and has motivated many new entrepreneurs to venture into space.
“Since the Agency moved to Prague more than 10 years ago, the importance of space data and services for our citizens and our economy has been growing continuously - and our Agency with it. The Czech Republic as our hosting country for the seat of the Agency is embracing this growth. The new building and the data centre will provide us with the necessary infrastructure to continue implementing the EU Space Programme,“ declared Rodrigo da Costa, EUSPA Executive Director.
In addition to its Prague headquarters, EUSPA has control and operations centres in France, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Belgium.
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