The European Commission (EC), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) have agreed to join forces in order to develop critical space technologies in Europe. The aim is to ensure that Europe can rely on a technical and industrial capacity for accessing space, in particular in the area of the manufacturing of satellites and launchers.
A workshop on Critical Space Technologies took place in Brussels on 9 September 2008 bringing together more than 100 stakeholders from more than 20 countries, representing the European Commission, ESA, and EDA, their respective Member States, national agencies and European space industry.
While Europe wants to continue its cooperation with other important space nations in the world, the development of space technologies for ensuring non-dependence is of strategic importance for Europe and for its role as a major space power and credible international partner.
Therefore concrete steps towards European non-dependence will be taken by the 3 organisations, together with Member States and European industry raising awareness, initiating work toward a common methodology and implementing concrete actions.
Further to this workshop, an EC/ESA/EDA task force, involving European industry and R&T actors, shall continue to develop the list of critical space technologies for a coherent Europe-wide approach. It will do so based on an agreed methodology, building on existing and recognised Harmonisation processes and leading to clear instruments for implementation, to ensure the availability of critical space technologies and products for European space programmes.
The fact that EDA is part of such a joint effort will avoid duplication and create synergies between efforts to develop civil and defence-related space technologies.
Moreover, the joint effort will foster the competitiveness of the European space industry on the world market.
For further information concerning the first joint EC-ESA-ESA workshop on Critical Space Technologies for European Strategic Non-Dependence please contact: harmo @ esa.int