A major European space conference is taking place in the Netherlands at the end of this month, highlighting the vital role that space technology plays in all our lives, and helping European industry to explore its business potential.
The European Space Solutions conference will take place at the World Forum Convention Centre from 30 May to 3 June. This is the fourth such conference, hosted in The Hague in conjunction with the 2016 Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Following the theme of Bringing Space to Earth, the conference will include discussions on space for economic growth, sessions on how space can benefit businesses across different sectors and an exhibition showcasing more than 50 innovative space technologies.
Space systems form an invisible – but increasingly indispensable – infrastructure in everyday life, enabling environmental monitoring of our air, land and seas, instantaneous worldwide communications and precision navigation and timing.
Space is a continuing source of innovation, encouraging the development of novel technologies and materials. And technologies used to keep astronauts comfortable and healthy in orbit have broader applications across the terrestrial healthcare sector.
The Space Solutions conference is co-organised by the European Commission and the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency (GSA).
Working with ESA, the EC is overseeing the Copernicus programme for environmental monitoring, while the GSA is implementing the Galileo programme for satellite navigation, along with the already operational ESA-designed European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, sharpening the performance of satnav signals across our continent.
ESA at the Space Solutions conference
ESA will have a high profile during the Space Solutions conference; attendees will be greeted by a video wall highlighting Europe’s Sentinel family of Earth observing missions and the Galileo constellation.
An exhibition area will introduce attendees to ESA and its activities, plus a separate booth on the first floor Business Support Area will highlight ESA’s work in Technology Transfer and Business Incubation.
ESA Director General Jan Woerner will participate in the opening of the conference on Monday afternoon, together with Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp. Dutch ESA astronaut André Kuipers will also be on hand, giving an opening speech.
The following day will see Magali Vaissiere, ESA’s Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications addressing a session on Space and the Digital Economy, Paul Verhoef, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities, speaking at a session on Space Industry, as well as Volker Liebig, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation addressing a session on Energy and Climate.
On Thursday ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office will be contributing to a side event on Space of Innovation and Entrepreneurs, while ESA Earth observation expert Claus Zehner will be speaking about air quality. And on Friday ESA navigation specialist Marco Lisi will talk about satellite navigation.
On Thursday evening attendees will be taken on a guided tour of ESA’s nearby ESTEC facility, the technical heart of the Agency.
From 27 May to 5 June a European Space Expo dome will be located in front of the Netherlands Parliament, letting the public learn more about European space activities.
The Netherlands’ contribution
After the official opening on Monday, the Government of the Netherlands will host the NL Space welcome reception.
The Netherlands are also contributing to several side events during the conference, highlighting the NL Space expertise in the areas of Food Security, Water & Delta, Climate & Environment & Technology transfer.