TECNET Chairs Forum & Competence Domains Leaders Workshop
The ESA Concurrent Design Facility has hosted a TECNET Chairs Forum Workshop, gathering representatives for the 10 Competence Domains (CDs) and 7 TECNET Application Domains as well as D/TEC and the TEC-T managers of the technology programmes (DPDT, TRP, GSTP, …) in a plenary discussion with the objective of converging on an ESA-wide Strategy for Technology to benefit the European space sector.
Why a technology strategy ?
An ESA-wide technology strategy shall provide the guidance and coordination for European space technology development activities to serve the ambitions of the European space sector.
The stated objectives of Space Technology are:
- To enable the future science and service driven missions, launchers and infrastructure
- To strengthen the competitiveness of European industry
- To foster innovation and technical excellence
- To assure non-dependence for critical space technologies
- To transfer technology from space to non-space applications (‘spin-off’), and to bring innovations from outside the space sector to use in the design of new space systems (‘spin-in’).
Each ESA application domain identifies its own technological needs, however, an ESA-wide technology strategy is more than just the sum of individual needs. There are technology needs and areas common to several (and in some cases to all) application domains. There is overlap or interdependency between technologies relevant to multiple competence domains. Clearly, the technology strategy becomes stronger and more effective when addressing such commonalities and interdependencies as well as finding synergies and avoiding duplications.
The workshop was conducted in a concurrent environment with those not physically present participating via VC. An appointed CDF Team created a dedicated structured list (with underlying database) on the TECNET SharePoint site gathering the main lines of action from all Competence Domains.
A multi-user Excel workbook model was built from the SharePoint list enabling the TECNET WGs and all CDs to express interest for each of the strategy lines presented by the CD leaders to the audience. The results will be fed back into the SharePoint list to serve for future iterations.
Reflections, recommendations and feedback from all participants were captured in writing during the discussions and the whole Workshop was recorded using the in-room video recording infrastructure of the CDF.
The event was concluded with a wrap-up reporting on the main findings, identification of common needs, new collaboration approaches to be adopted, synergies between CDs and TECNET WGs and among CDs, actions and recommendations for the elaboration of a solid and shared ESA-wide technology strategy. An Executive Summary will be issued to capture the workshop outcome. This was the first time the CDF has been used for a TECNET workshop like this and the participants agreed its use was quite effective. The option is now available to make this a regular workshop for assisting with the convergence of an ESA wide strategy for technology.
Commonly identified areas / drivers (in no particular order):
- Constellation Enablers (Space & Ground Segment)
- Re-configuration during Operations (Mission Flexibility)
- I/F Standardization
- Failure Analysis and Reliability (de-rating / Clean Space Implications)
- Shorter Qualification Time
- Security aspects