An irresistible wind of change is blowing. The continuous digital evolution around us is irreversible. The ESA Digital Agenda for Space needs to address not only the opportunities but also the challenges it poses.
ESA must continue to be an exponent of cyber security for its own systems and equally in advising and supporting its partners. This is particularly important for the small and medium enterprises who often have specific expertise that is particularly vulnerable to theft or loss, yet not the resources to pour into high-level cyber security.
ESA must also have a flexible approach to its intellectual property rights policies. While it is generally beneficial to spread knowledge around, small and medium enterprises could be significantly damaged if their specific areas of expertise were given away. Similarly, larger concerns may be reluctant to invest their own money in research and development if the results are simply expected to be made widely known.
So, the benefits to innovation and efficiency by sharing knowledge must be balanced with protecting a business’s motivation to invest in solutions that could give it a commercial edge.