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ESTP – background
During the past few years, Europe saw significant changes: the enlargement to 25 states in May 2004, the new position of Europe in the world and its aspirations, the day-to-day renewed threats to security across an enlarged territory, new neighbours and international strains.
Space is an element of increasing vital importance in an enlarged European territory. Today, satellites around the globe send images of rain and windstorms heading our way, television news is beamed around the world by satellites; we are driven to restaurants and theatres by satellite navigation. Such applications of satellites have become so familiar that we take them for granted. There are many more to come, as Europe aims to ensure that citizens will have access to all benefits from space, in their everyday lives.
Europe needs a solid space technological base aimed at deploying competitive and non-dependent future generation of space systems. This cannot become a reality without a stronger commitment to technology research and development, innovation, in-flight demonstration and coordination of resources to answer to these challenges.
Coordination and increase of the efforts in space-related activities is a prerequisite to improve the strategic place of Europe in the world and to reduce dependency from the leader in the sector, the US. Increasing efficiency will require maximising synergies through reinforcing complementarities amongst stakeholders (space/non-space) and avoiding duplications in each element of the value chain.
Both the increase of investment on space technology research and development (R&D) and the enlargement of the coordination effort are necessary steps to improve the competitiveness of the European Industry vis-à-vis the major world player and the emerging space powers, with which cooperation should be considered where appropriate.
With that respect, the European Space Technology Platform (ESTP) has been established in answer to the Commission’s EURAB report on European Technology Platforms and discussions with DG-Enterprise’s Space Policy Unit. The ESTP will support the enlargement of the Union by helping the integration of new EU Members States in the space sector along agreed roadmaps, and will facilitate interactions between the space sector and related non-space technology platforms and initiatives.
The ESTP builds on the success of the established European Space Technology Master Plan (ESTMP)/Harmonisation process. Since its pilot launch in 2000, approximately 40 technologies have been harmonised, with the participation of all ESA Member States, Eurospace, industry, more than 700 professionals from more than 170 European space companies and research organisations.
The Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) of the ESTP provides an overview on where we are and where we want to go. It demonstrates the commitment of stakeholders to accommodate, in their programmes, a common strategy responding also to the needs and priorities of Europe, in addition to Industrial and National priorities. This includes sharing of responsibilities between stakeholders on implementation issues, and the identification of the necessary funding across stakeholder’s and Community programmes.
Copyright @ 2006 European Space Technology Platform. All rights reserved.
|last updated: 2006-06-04|