High level meeting between EC, EUSPA and ESA takes place in Prague

24 September 2021
Timo Pesonen, Rodrigo da Costa and Josef Aschbacher at EUSPA headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic.
Timo Pesonen, Rodrigo da Costa and Josef Aschbacher at EUSPA headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic.

A few months after the entry into force of the EU Space Regulation and the subsequent signature of the Financial Framework Partnership Agreement (FFPA) between EC, EUSPA and ESA, EUSPA Executive Director da Costa welcomed Director General of DG DEFIS, T Pesonen and ESA, Director General, J Aschbacher for the first time at the headquarters of EUSPA in Prague.

In the coming years, the EU space industry will see many developments in the area of satellite navigation, satellite communication or Earth observation. Europe must team up to deliver innovative, value-adding applications based on EU Space technologies to compete worldwide. Cooperation between all the partners of the EU Space Programme is thus essential.

To reaffirm their commitment for collaboration, EUSPA Executive Director, Rodrigo da Costa, European Commission’s Director General Timo Pesonen and ESA’s Director General Josef Aschbacher met for the first time in Prague to discuss the implementation of the governance between the three entities, as set out in the EU Space Programme regulation. Pesonen, da Costa, and Aschbacher also participated in an open dialogue with EUSPA, EC and ESA staff to exchange views on upcoming joint activities. Cooperation between the three parties is at the heart of the FFPA concluded in late June 2021. As a capstone of this agreement, a Joint Office is being set up in Brussels. 

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"The collaboration between EUSPA, EC and ESA is fundamental to the success of the EU Space Programme. The staff of the three organisations will work together in many frames in day to day tasks, to streamline the programmatic and administrative processes and ensure the smooth delivery of the Union’s first ever integrated space programme," remarked EUSPA Director, Rodrigo da Costa.

"Together with Josef Aschbacher and Rodrigo da Costa, we have reset the cooperation between the Commission, the European Space Agency and EUSPA. The three organisations are fully committed to making Europe stronger in space and delivering on the priorities defined by Commissioner Breton: modernisation of Galileo and Copernicus, development of the Secure Connectivity Initiative and fostering the space ecosystem including New Space companies. Time has come to combine forces and talents!’’ said Director General of DG DEFIS, Timo Pesonen.

‘’On 22 June of this year, ESA signed the Financial Framework Partnership Agreement (FFPA) with DG DEFIS and EUSPA, formally stabilising the governance and tasks for each partner agency. Now, we need to ensure that the implementation runs smoothly. Together with Timo Pesonen and Rodrigo da Costa, I presented the fresh start of the EU-ESA cooperation and answered questions from colleagues at EUSPA Headquarters in Prague,’’ added ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher.

During the first half of the day, guests had the time to acquaint themselves with the latest and most innovative applications that utilise data from the EU Space Programme such as H-GEAR. The EUSPA H2020-funded project developed a solution that combines the eCall technology with the forthcoming OS-NMA service of Galileo to offer both safety and security on the road.

Attracting entrepreneurial spirit with space innovation competitions 

The second half of the visit was dedicated to interacting with entrepreneurs and innovators from the host country. The Czech Republic has a flourishing ecosystem of start-ups and SMEs. Many are applying EU space technology in their operations. Recent examples of Czech space start-ups include #MyGalileoDrone winner, ThunderFly, an unmanned aerial vehicle designed to operate in unfavourable weather conditions using Galileo’s positioning services and data from Copernicus to perform atmosphere measurements. 

"Boosting the market uptake of all the EU Space Programme components is within EUSPA’s extended mandate. With #myEUspace we will provide funding to more than 50 start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop products that use EU Space data and technology. I encourage innovators from all backgrounds to apply. Space is ubiquitous and you do not need to be a rocket scientist to make use of it, so go for it!" says EUSPA Director, Rodrigo da Costa.

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Updated: Sep 24, 2021