Newsletter June 2012


  • R. Ayazi
    Secretary General

Dear NEREUS-community

The idea of a closer regional anchorage stimulated different NEREUS-actors to promote the network in their territory. The Wallonia space event was the first to start up a whole series of regional meetings: Veneto, Brittany and Basilicata, Midi-P (around the Toulouse Space Show), which focus on mobilizing regional stakeholder and spreading the NEREUS-message at regional level. We will report on some of them but all had one thing in common, NEREUS could outreach to a much broader community than usual. Providing us with first hand experiences and interaction with many regional actors of the territory we learned also much about the region itself. Many thanks to all parties involved for their efforts and hard work to organize these meetings. The secretariat supported these initiatives with a targeted communication strategy that provides also new tools in the native languages of the network that are available for everyone.

Have a pleasant read,


Focus on: NEREUS welcomes its new member region: LAZIO

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Lazio region as new full member of the NEREUS network. Lazio region is a key player in the European space sector; its long tradition of research and development (R&D) as well as manufacturing activities and experience in the field of aerospace will definitely represent an added value for the whole network community. Read more


Mini-Study: “Smart Specialisation in Space: The economic potential of space technology and downstream services for Europe’s region”

10 NEREUS regions offered their contributions to an intense study work aimed at investigating the economic potential of space technologies and downstream services for European’s regions with respect to the concept of Smart Specialisation. Promoted and supported by the European Commission/DG Regional Policy, the mini study report was produced by CEON/Bremen in collaboration with the Brussels based representation and the NEREUS Secretariat. Read more


The NEREUS video is now available in 8 languages!

Produced in English on the occasion of the opening of the Space Exhibition, 7-9 November 2011 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels, the NEREUS video "The voice of the regions for Space" is now available in all native languages of the network. Read more


NEREUS workshop EGNOS/Galileo for marine and maritime applications. 16-17 April 2012

Many representatives of the NEREUS community recently meet on the occasion of the NEREUS workshop “EGNOS/Galileo for marine and maritime applications organized in Venice on 16-17 April 2012. Read more

Current State of Affairs of the NEREUS WG

Next meetings and current activities of the NEREUS WGs

  • GNSS WG;
  • Telecommunication WG;
  • Technologies from Space Exploration WG;
  •  Communication, Education and Training (CET) WG

Read more

Events and News


NEREUS General Assembly - SAVE the DATE!

30 October 2012 at the Committee of the Regions, in Brussels. Read more

Basilicata Workshop: “Towards a smart specialisation in the field of space technologies the contribution of European regional policy to Europe 2020”. On 8 June in Matera/Basilicata Region (Italy)

On 8 June 2012, Basilicata Region in collaboration with NEREUS, the National Research Council, the University of Basilicata, the TeRN Consortium and Sviluppo Basilicata organized an international workshop: “Towards a smart specialisation in the field of space technologies: the contribution of European regional policy to Europe 2020” in Matera. Read more


Toulouse Space Show, 25-28 June 2012 in Toulouse. NEREUS will participate also this year at the Toulouse Space Show presenting its Space Exhibition implemented with new and interactive exhibits. Additionally, a roundtable debate on Regional Policy will be also organized during the 5-day event. Read more



Be updated on NEREUS events and activities! Check the NEREUS event calendar


Galileo second’s launch planned for 28th September 2012

Following the launch of the first two satellites on 21 October 2011, Vice-President Antonio Tajani together with Jean Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace announced that Europe is now ready for Galileo's second launch. The next two satellites will be launched on 28 September 2012 from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana. Read more

The European Commission makes a proposal for an Intergovernmental agreement for the operation GMES for the period 2014-2020

On 11 May 2012, the European Commission (EC) made a proposal for an Intergovernmental agreement for the operation GMES for the period 2014-2020 "The establishment of an Intergovernmental Agreement for the operations of the European Earth monitoring programme (GMES) from 2014 to 2020". Read more



Focus on: NEREUS welcomes its new member region: LAZIO

The aerospace sector is one of Lazio region’s areas of excellence, internationally recognized due to the presence of large-sized industries such as Thales Alenia Space, Telespazio, and Alenia Aereonautica within its territory. Additionally many small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises, research centers and universities represent an economic and social added value for the whole region. Here below some figures:

  • - 30.000 employees;
  • - 250 industries of high-level specialized technical expertise;
  • - 10 Research centres (among others: the European Space Research Institute (ESA/ESRIN), the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the National Research Centre (CNR) and many more);
  • - 4 Technological Centres;
  • - 4 Engineering University Faculties and about 3000 professors, researchers and specialists involved in aerospace R&D activities[1]

These actors are collaborating in many projects and research activities within the regional Aerospace Technology Cluster (Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale – DTA), the first Italian Aerospace cluster formed in June 2004.

DTA’s activities are coordinated and promoted by the financial investment agency of Lazio region, FILAS (   

The projects managed by FILAS aim at promoting, directly or indirectly, the innovation and development of the enterprise system in Lazio. It finances directly co-research, technology transfer, spin-off and innovation projects, as well as provide venture capital support. Major projects include other Technology Clusters dedicated to Biosciences, Cultural Heritage. Digital Technologies and Creative Industries. Other projects include Lazio Connect, the aerospace collaborative enterprising network, the Lazio-Side portal (the virtual SME community in Lazio), and the participation in trans-national networks and European projects, some of which as lead manager.

[1] Figures updated as of 2008. More info available at:  


Mini-study "Smart Specialisation in Space"

Conceived to inform DG Regional policy on specific activities and space policies that help to stimulate regions’ economic growth, the mini study focused in particular on the two flagship projects of the EU Space Policy: GMES and Galileo. A sample of regions, contacted by the NEREUS-secretariat by means of a questionnaire, provided examples of innovation support instruments and cluster support to space technologies, some of them were realized with the contribution of EU Structural Funds.

The regional case studies demonstrated that space technologies are expected to have important spill over effects into other policy sectors, representing economic areas of interest of the regions. To quote an example, the Urban Atlas is a service used in many regions and cities. It provides a pan-European comparable land use and land cover data for Large Urban Zones with more than 100.000 inhabitants. The Urban Atlas has been financed with the contribution of up to 2M euro from the ERDF.

The study revealed that the NEREUS regions, also expecting further benefits from the operational phases of GMES and Galileo, believe that investing in space technologies and its applications means investing in those economic areas that are competitive strengths in their respective regions. These fields might later serve as factors for a high-specialization of the region’s resources and capabilities in the context of smart specialization.

The mini-study will be distributed to all the participants of the workshop “Towards a smart specialisation in the field of space technologies: the contribution of European regional policy to Europe 2020“ organized in Matera on 8 June 2012.

With respects to the future of the GMES programme and following the last EC proposal of an Intergovernmental agreement for its financing post 2014, NEREUS regions are concerned about a stable and secure continuation of the programme. As stated in the NEREUS-GMES position paper, released on October 2011, NEREUS regions believe that the financing of the GMES programme within the EU budget 2014-2020 is essential to secure the timely delivery of GMES services for the whole Europe.

NEREUS members interested in receiving a copy of the mini-study, please contact the Secretariat.


The NEREUS video is now available in 8 languages!

The NEREUS video “The voice of the regions for space” is a 4-minutes high quality product that showcases concrete regional examples of space based services (EO/GMES, GNSS, Telecommunication, etc.) for the benefits of regions and their citizens.

Realized by a NEREUS project team, composed of Vice President Prof. Alan Wells and the NEREUS Secretariat, many NEREUS regions and associate members collaborated intensively to the video distinguished by excellent quality images and footage.

The video got very positive feedback by high level representatives of European Institutions, ESA, GSA and from different National Space Agencies. It was considered an effective communication tool for addressing also a non-specialist audience.

The production of the video in all languages of the network is part of a wider communication strategy closely linked with the efforts to accomplish an improved regional anchorage of the network. By producing information material of NEREUS in native languages of the network community the secretariat wishes to contribute to a broader and more effective communication of NEREUS’ mission and activities across to its member regions.

For this reason, besides the videos, NEREUS compiled also general information material in different languages. The material can be found in the new native language material website section. The info sheet that comprises the main information about NEREUS and its activities is currently available in Italian, French and Spanish.

We strongly recommend our members to contribute to this initiative, translating the info sheet in their native language!


NEREUS workshop EGNOS/Galileo for marine and maritime applications. 16-17 April 2012

The event was organized by NEREUS in collaboration with Veneto region and CORILA. While raising awareness for the crucial importance of EGNOS and Galileo uses in marine and maritime sectors, the workshop was a concrete occasion for service developers and end users to meet and explore tangible collaboration opportunities.

During the first day’s political panel discussion the strategic value of EGNOS and Galileo and the concrete need for more applications in these market sectors clearly emerged. In fact, especially considering the current difficult financial situation in Europe, GNSS systems play an important role in terms of time and cost savings in ports’ management and ships’ navigation. However, many potential end users are still not completely aware of the great potential and enormous benefits derived by using GNSS services.

The strategic importance and the concrete benefits of marine and maritime EGNOS/ Galileo uses was concretely shown during the afternoon session by the presentation of many operational or pre-operational GNSS examples used in Europe.

The second day was dedicated to the presentation of several European ports’ experiences followed by a debate animated by common and particular first hand experiences of the participants. Finally, the second day of event concluded with a session of the NEREUS GNSS WG in which the 2012 work programme was presented and approved.

A short report of the event is available here to download.

The European Parliament (ITRE-Committee) currently debates the EC proposal for a GNSS-regulation that refines the future financing and governance of both systems. The draft-report by the ITRE-rapporteur the Romanian MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu is online available. Prior NEREUS discussed the legislative proposal with different representatives of the EP and called for broad promotion activities across society and targeted measures that stimulate the development of services. It is not enough to build a European GNSS-systems, the Union has also to make sure that these systems get optimally exploited and realize their ambitions objectives to contribute to economic growth and new employment opportunities in Europe. Efforts and support mechanisms that boost the development of the downstream market sector in different domains must be a cornerstone of the implementation of the future GNSS-programs.

Many members of the EO/GMES WG are engaged in the joint NEREUS-ESA “50 uses of GMES across European Regions” and are at the moment involved in the review and selection process of the contributions for the project publication.

A considerable number of Regions from 17 European States replied to this initiative by sending innovative and unique examples of GMES applications and services covering a wide spectrum of application domains from agriculture to marine and from civil emergencies to security.

Showcasing the growing number of GMES applications already available in many regions all over Europe, the publication aims to raise awareness about the great potential of EO/GMES for the benefits of regions and their citizens. The publication is explicitly targeted at the broad public, putting a strong emphasis on a non-specialist audience.

For the launch of the publication a big event will be organized under the auspices of MEP Glante at the European Parliament on October 2012.

More information on the NEREUS/ESA project here.


The GNSS-WG met on the occasion of the workshop “EGNOS/Galileo for marine and maritime applications” organized in Venice on 16-17 April 2012 (More information, minutes and WS-conclusions are available here).

The working group agreed on the main elements of the annual work program 2012. 

The next meeting of the working group is scheduled on the occasion of the Toulouse Space Show 2012, on 26 June 2012 from 14.00 to 18.00. Agenda points will be an exchange with the Toulousain GNSS-community, a review of the event in Veneto, discussion of the planned vision paper and next steps regarding the implementation of the work program 2012.

A following meeting of the WG is planned for 27 September 2012.


Following the re-launch of the working group all NEREUS members are invited to explore the WG and start cooperating trans regionally. For any further info, please contact the secretariat.

Following the last phone conference held on 12 April 2012, the WG is focusing on collecting more information on the current availability of Telecom services at regional level and identifying the barriers for a broader service deployment.

As a long-term objective, the working group wants to produce a NEREUS Telecom position paper aimed at stimulating the political dialogue in Europe on Telecommunication and raise awareness on the strategic benefits provided by SatCom to European regions and their citizens in many sectors (public safety, economic development, education etc.). Currently the group works on compiling an electronic questionnaire which shall serve as a tool to access the telecom situation in member regions. The documentation from the first kick-off meeting is available in the public page of the WG. 


The working group continues to develop their project idea “European network of Exploratoria” further and strives to involve additional European partners and networks in its activities. Further to this, the group engaged with ESA in an exchange on their position paper and action plan asking for a promotion campaign at citizens level. Minutes and complementary of the last meeting are available in the password protected area of the WG.

The next meeting of the WG is scheduled for Tuesday, 26 June 2012, 14.00-18.00h.


During the 2012 Toulouse Space Show and as a part of the Space Applications Conference, an especial session on « Education & Training » will take place. Prof. Michel Bousquet co-chair of the CET WG will be the chairman of this event. The session will be focused on presenting the training programmes already available in the different areas of space applications and identifying the current needs.

The next meeting of the WG will take place in Toulouse on 29 June 2012 from 9.00 to 13.00h. More information and the agenda of the meeting are available in the password protected area of the WG.


Events and News


NEREUS General Assembly 2012 - SAVE THE DATE!

Demonstrating once again its continuous support, the Committee of the Regions invited NEREUS to hold the 2012 General Assembly at its premises on 30 October 2012.

This year’s General Assembly will not only be an occasion to present network activities and projects mobilized on the NEREUS platform in 2011/12 but also to debate jointly the outcomes of the NEREUS regional strategy initiative. Apart from that, the NEREUS members will have to elect/reconfirm the members of the Management Board, the political representatives as well as the treasurer. Please note that candidacies to the Management Board have to be received by the secretariat not later than 6 weeks prior to the date of the General Assembly. For more information on the election procedure, please refer to art. 16 of the NEREUS-statutes

Basilicata Workshop: “Towards a smart specialisation in the field of space technologies the contribution of European regional policy to Europe 2020”. On 8 June in Matera/Basilicata Region (Italy).

The workshop aimed at reflecting on the impact of space uses with respect to regional development and policies and more specifically on policies and initiatives supporting innovation and technological development.

A NEREUS delegation composed by Mr. A. Bénéteau, President, Mr A. Cavalli and Mr A. Wells, Vice Presidents as well as Ms R. Ayazi, Secretary General, were among the invited speakers. They presented the network strategy for the year 2012 and the regional activities developed in the first months of the year. Additionally, Mr Alan Bénéteau talked about the involvement and the dimension of space applications for territorial policies and regional development. Finally, the event was an occasion to share some experiences of interregional collaborations in the space sector and to learn more about NEREUS working group sessions. ESA’s representative Franco Emma stressed in his intervention that his organisation believes that regions play a pivotal role to realize growth and innovation in space, in particular with respect to the service sector. The discussions around the workshop impulsed the overall network strategy and brought up the idea that NEREUS should strive to federate increasingly regional clusters, networks and relevant initiatives of its member regions at European level.

An illustrative article describing the event, together with the speakers' speeches and presentations will be soon available in the NEREUS website. Please find here the event Program.

The Toulouse Space Show 2012

From 25 to 28 June 2012, the third edition of the Toulouse Space Show will be held in Pierre Baudis Convention Centre, in Toulouse, France. The event is organized by CNES and Midi-Pyrénées region. The objective is to gather stakeholders in space applications as well as potential users to discuss solutions and services for the future.

NEREUS will be present at this important international event:

On the opening day with  its Space Exhibition, an audio-visual exposition showcasing the widespread and growing use of space applications in NEREUS regions. Thanks to the support of all NEREUS members, this year’s exhibition will be extended with additional interactive material.

On Tuesday 26 June 2012, NEREUS will organize a roundtable debate:Europe’s Regions a greenhouse for developing space applications?” reflecting on the role of regions as political and economic decision makers to promote the development of space applications and services across Europe. Among the speakers will be notably present for the debate: regional representatives from NEREUS member regions, European Commission, ESA, and French Ministry for Ecology.

All the relevant info on the TSS2012 are available here. Info on NEREUS round table here.



Galileo second’s launch planned for 28th September 2012

With this new launch, a 4-satellite mini-constellation will be formed giving the opportunity to test the functioning of the vast Galileo infrastructure, as part of the on going phase in orbit Validation (IOV). The full Galileo system will consist of 30 satellites in orbit. The new launch is expected to provide manifold innovation opportunities for European enterprises, as they can start to develop and test innovative products based on the Galileo satellite navigation signals. The signals are available for all European citizens free of charge.

The launch date was set in agreement with the European Space Agency which implements the programme on behalf of the European Commission. All four IOV satellites were produced by EADS Astrium.

The European Commission (EC) makes a proposal for an Intergovernmental agreement for the operation GMES for the period 2014-2020

The EC reaffirms in its current communication its intention to finance GMES outside the EU-budget and urges the Member States to start preparing an intergovernmental agreement that defines the further financing of GMES post 2014. The position of the Commission to finance GMES outside the MFF has not changed, and after exploring different options the creation of a specific GMES fund was considered the best solution.

Last year, in “A Budget for Europe 2020” issued in June 2011, the EC proposed to finance GMES as a large scale project outside the Multi financial framework (MFF). This proposition raised controversial debates among the Member States (MS) and met strong opposition from the European Parliament. The majority of MS declared themselves in favor of reintegrating the program in the MFF. Poland and Latvia were among the few MS that wished GMES to be financed outside the EU-budget.

Despite this feed-back to their proposal the Commission remains firm in its view that the financing of GMES-post 2014 can not be realized within the current EU-budget. After having accessed different options in the Communication on the European Earth monitoring programme (GMES) and its operation (from 2014 onwards) in November 2011, the solution of funding it through a special GMES-fund in which all 27- MS contribute is favored. The option of having an enhanced cooperation among committed MS would have demanded in the first place a strong interest from Member States which would have to willing to invest. This option however, could have been quite risky for the EU-27 dimension of the program. The other option of sharing responsibilities with economic actors was dismissed due to former experience gained from efforts to finance Galileo as a Public-private partnership.

The mechanisms of the GMES fund are similar to the European Development Fund (EDF) that provides Community aid for development cooperation. The 27-Members States (MS) contribute on the base of their gross national income (GNP) and the fund would be ruled by a GMES Council chaired by the EC with appointed members from MS. The legal nature of such a fund requires an intergovernmental agreement and considering the time needed to come to terms, the EC wishes the MS to start negotiations in order to prevent any discontinuity of the program.

The loss of ENVISAT, one month ago makes GMES and the Sentinel’s data even more needed by European users.

The future of GMES is still unsettled. Reintegrating it in the MFF would mean to reduce the budget in other headings which might also meet strong opposition from both Member States and European Parliament. With the economic crisis the MS are very reluctant to take over additional commitments. Thus the negotiations among the MS and relevant European institutions will have to find a solution in the remaining months that ensures the sound and continuous implementation of the GMES-program across Europe within the given financial frame.

NEREUS compiled a position paper on the future funding of GMES-post 2014 and continues the political dialogue with all parties concerned. The “50-GMES-Uses” publication that is currently in progress wishes to contribute to underline the added value of GMES-uses at regional level. More info on:

More info.



  • Editor: F. Bordelot
    NEREUS Secretariat




NEREUS aisbl c/o Regione del Veneto Avenue de Tervuren , 67 1040-Brussels Belgium. Phone: +32 (0)2 743 70 33 Fax: +32 (0)2 743 70 19 E-mail:

RA. R. Ayazi:

Ms. F. Bordelot:



NEREUS a.i.s.b.l. (Enterprise N° 898.367.280) is a not for profit international association incorporated under Belgian law in April 2008 to promote the use of space applications and emphasize the role of regions in space programmes and policies. It is financially independent and is funded by membership fees. Currently it counts 26 Member Regions and 33 Associate Members from all over Europe.


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