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Technology Harmonisation/ESTMP - Introduction

The process of harmonising and elaborating a future strategy for European space technology was initiated in 2000 in response to the adoption of a Resolution titled Shaping the Future of Europe in Space adopted at the ESA Ministerial Council in May 1999. This resolution notes that

“… the new and demanding challenges of 21st Century call for a concerted European effort, so that Europe achieves its fullest potential international cooperation and world competition”

Subsequently, at its meeting in Edinburgh in November 2001, the ESA Ministerial Council invited ESA and its Member States to pursue, together with the other players in the space sector, the programmatic coordination and harmonisation of technology programmes in Europe and to prepare a European Space Technology Master Plan (ESTMP).

The technology coordination initiative has, therefore, been developed to achieve better-coordinated research and development (R&D) activities among all actors of European space sector and to establish a strong technology base as a key to the worldwide competitiveness of European Industry and to the success of future space missions. The strategy involves establishing a coordinated European Space Technology Policy and preparing a European Space Technology Master Plan, through a process of concertation, coordination, harmonisation and agreement between ESA’s Member States, the European Commission, European Industry and ESA itself.

The Technology Coordination Process

The European Space Technology Harmonisation process takes into account the various European developments, capabilities and budgets to enhance the complementary roles of the various partners in meeting common objectives and agreeing on European space technology roadmaps.

A further strategic element is the ‘Technology Observatory’. The technology watch supports the whole process and in particular the harmonisation process, with specialised inputs at critical points along the way. The ‘Technology Monitoring’ activities close the loop by providing the feedback needed to measure the performance of the process, and to support continuous improvement.

The results of the whole exercise are conveyed into the European Space Technology Master Plan. The ‘European Space Technology Master Plan’ (ESTMP), also gives a complete overview of planned institutional space technology programmes in Europe and harmonised roadmaps. The actual implementation of R&D contracts is carried out through the various existing ESA or National space technology programmes.

The major elements of the coordination strategy are indicated in the shadowed boxes in the figure above. Updating of the information pertaining to these elements (Dossier 0, harmonisation and ESTMP) is conducted on a yearly base, while the harmonisation is a continuous process, with harmonised technologies being revisited every 3 to 5 years.


Copyright @ 2006 European Space Technology Platform. All rights reserved. 
last updated:   2006-04-27