Newsletter December 2012




Focus on: 2013 NEREUS strategy debate to respond to challenges ahead

This year’s General Assembly centered around a debate on network strategy to meet the challenges ahead. Read more


What’s next? - Outlook to 2013 NEREUS - Work Program

The debate during the General Assembly in October led to three main cornerstones for next year’s working program:

  • Regional anchorage
  • Communication
  • Partnership/collaboration with ESA   Read more

“The Growing Use of GMES across Europe's Regions” - a joint NEREUS/ESA publication

The collection of 67 descriptive case studies offers a broad insight into the use of GMES in applications and services in Europe. While highlighting the great potential and strategic value of the programme it strives to be a reference book for policy makers to better understand the social and economic benefits derived from the use of GMES in Europe. Read more


Winner of the first NEREUS-EUROAVIA competition on GMES

Mr Donato Impedovo won the first NEREUS-Euroavia Competition on GMES for the quality and originality of his thesis "Classificazione di immagini telerilevate multitemporali acquisite da sensori SAR ed ottici”. Read more


Events and News


ANNOUNCEMENT 2013 NEREUS General Assembly - SAVE the DATE!

The 2013- General Assembly will take place on 1st July 2013 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels from 9.30 to 18.00. Read more


Next year’s OPEN DAYS will be held from 7 to 10 October 2013 in Brussels. Read more 

Horizon 2020 Workshops on Space Research and Technology Development

Two WS with respect to the up-coming Horizon2020 program to consult a representative cross-section of the European Space Research community will be organized respectively on:

  • Space Technology (Brussels, 30-31 January 2013) and
  • Space Science and Exploration (Madrid, 18-19 February 2013)   Read more

First International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of Environment - 8-10 April 2013, Cyprus

SAVE the DATE - The conference, organized by the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) and co-organized by ESA and other National Institutions, organizations and universities, will take place in Paphos, Cyprus from 8-10 April 2013. Call for abstracts closes on 10th January 2013.  Read more


New associate member! University of Surrey, Surrey Space Center joins NEREUS

With space education and training being a top priority, NEREUS is very pleased to have the University of Surrey, Surrey Space Center, from Guilford, in South East England, joining the network. Read more

Special issue 2012 of WINDOW on GMES, a GMES4REGIONS Publication.  Read more

A study on GMES - Assessing the Economic Value of GMES: European Earth Observation (EO) and GMES Downstream Services Market Study"

GMES will create 83 000 jobs in Europe by 2030. This is the result of a study presented by European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani during the London conference "European Space Solutions" 4-6 December 2012.   Read more



  • R. Ayazi
    Secretary General

Dear NEREUS-community

Together with you we like to have a look back on the past months but also to look ahead what to expect for 2013.

GMES has been again at the core of our activities and with the joint NEREUS/ESA GMES publication we wish to address in particular regional and local authorities to get a first hand taste about the tangible benefits of the system. Bearing in mind the current state of the MFF-negotiations related to the future funding of GMES-post 2014 we strive to show Europe’s decision maker that public investments in the program are worth while. The added value for territories and citizens goes far beyond mere cost savings. Considering the wealth of GMES-applications used and developed at regional level, involving considerable business opportunities for regional actors, the debate can not be limited to budgetary reasoning. Read more


Focus on: 2013 NEREUS strategy debate to respond to challenges ahead

Given that many members were present for the annual General Assembly, Mr Bruns’, NEREUS Vice President, took the opportunity to directly involve the audience in a reflective process on the network strategy and posed a set of six questions (see below).

Key concerns were to improve the regional anchorage, to grow in membership and to define the working structure of the network.

Comments and ideas were mainly oriented towards the necessity to bring the dimension of space uses into regional policies and strategies. By linking European Research and Innovation Programmes with regional policy and funds, existing resources could be better exploited for the deployment of space services. Apart from this, the members reflected on how to improve the network’s communication. While some French members stressed the fact that the use of English is still a language barrier for many French regions, some other members emphasized the need to demonstrate by concrete examples and success stories the economic and social return of investments in space. Projects as the NEREUS/ESA joint publication on GMES have been recognized as a very effective communication tool to raise awareness on the importance of space and attract more members. 

As a follow-up of the discussion held during the meeting, the secretariat wishes now to have a more in-depth reflection on the member’s views. While several members reacted immediately during the GA, others were not able to join the discussion.

To give all members alike the opportunity to share their views and contribute to the strategy debate, we invite all members to send us their feed-back to the six questions below and/or their comments during the debate.

Your response is important to us as it might help NEREUS to shape the network strategy and future activities to the specific regional needs and ideas of its regions.

Please send your contributions to Federica Bordelot.

The following questions were addressed to the members during the GA:  

  1. What do you think about space technologies awareness in your regions? Do people know about GMES/GNSS?
  2. What NEREUS could do to improve its communication towards its members? What tools do you need to improve raise awareness in your regions? 
  3. What do you think about implementing a regional strategy on space application (how to deal with with space and space applications in your region)? 
  4. About the NEREUS internal working structure: It is evident that the NEREUS WG are facing some problems in developing and managing their activities. Some problems are linked to budgetary constraints (no budget for travelling and be present at the WGs’ meeting), however, the problem is obviously deeper. Therefore, how could we improve the work of the NEREUS WGs?
  5. How important do you consider the matter of involving your region in possible project funding opportunities? 
  6. How NEREUS can mobilize new members? What do you think about introducing incentives for new member regions who wish to join the network? 

More information on the General Assembly 2012

The minutes of the General Assembly that reflect the discussion of the members present is available via the secretariat.


What’s next? - Outlook to 2013 NEREUS - Work Program"

Continuing our efforts to establish a stronger presence of the network at regional level is vital for our activities in the coming year. In this sense we are going to continue the series of regional meetings started in 2012 (Veneto, Brittany, Basilicata, Midi/P, Brandenburg and Madrid) to link the network closer to the territories and its actors. Enhancing communication across our member regions and developing specific communication tools will be high on our agenda.

Most of NEREUS-working structures will have to undergo reform in the next months to respond better to the needs of our members. For the moment the idea is to organize three to four Thematic Workshops (e.g. on Space Uses for Maritime, Civil Emergencies, Agriculture) together with our member regions to which interested NEREUS-working groups will be incorporated. In the frame of the workshops we wish also to explore how relevant European Programs such as the up-coming Horizon2020, Innovation and Regional programs can be better exploited to support the development of space applications in the mentioned areas.

Developing a strategic partnership with ESA is another strand NEREUS wishes to advance. With ESA we share a number of common objectives amongst which to have more visibility of space at regional and local level. The beneficial impact of space uses on economic growth and innovation dynamics of regional economics is central in this context. Beside the strategic collaboration on policy matters we wish also to continue the cooperation at an operational level, producing tangible outcomes for our regions. This year we started with a regional GMES-consultation in the frame of which we compiled a joint NEREUS/ESA-publication with the ESA/ESRIN (Rome) - ESA GMES Office and wish to continue with further GMES initiatives. Another idea is to better access relevant ESA programs such as the  Integrated Applications Program (IAP) Program or Technology Transfer Program (TTP) Program and familiarize our regional stakeholders with the opportunities that these ESA support structures offer. NEREUS is in close contact with the ESA/ESTEC office in Noordwijk and works on better connecting the NEREUS-platform with the IAP-Ambassador Platforms while identifying cooperation potentials. On 13/12/2012 a NEREUS-delegation will have a meeting with representatives of ESA and the IAP Ambassador platforms.


“The Growing Use of GMES across Europe's Regions” - a joint NEREUS/ESA publication"

The publication, that puts the European citizen in the center, is the result of a fruitful and growing collaboration between NEREUS and the European Space Agency (ESA).

47 regional bodies from 17 European Countries contributed to this publication. The publication shows how, from East Middle Sweden to Basilicata (Italy) and from Andalusia (Spain) to the Black Sea Region (Ukraine), regions exploit GMES technology to develop their economies and to improve the lives of their citizens.

More than half of the papers, grouped around the thematic GMES domains of land; maritime; emergency; atmosphere and climate, describe land-related applications however a great number of examples cover also maritime and emergency applications. Thus, while reflecting on the importance of GMES uses for the management and conservation of territories the collection illustrates the wide scale of applications covered by GMES.

NEREUS and ESA celebrated the launch of the publication with a festive event at the European Parliament in Brussels on 10 October 2012. During the launch event, organized under the auspices of MEP Norbert Glante, many members of relevant European Institutions and regional end-user representatives joined a panel debate on the growing use of GMES services and their impact at regional level in Europe. The debate put strong emphasis on involving end-user representatives and their experiences. Director of ESA's Earth Observation Programmes, Volker Liebig, explained the benefits that the future Sentinel satellites can bring to European citizens stressing that the Sentinels are a major improvement compared to existing missions. The event was featured on both ESA and NEREUS websites.

Following the launch event, NEREUS and ESA started a wide and broad promotion campaign across Europe receiving already very positive feedback. We encourage our member regions and all parties who contribute to this work to promote the publication broadly at regional level, towards relevant stakeholders and administrations. We recommend also having it at display for regional and local events.

The publication is available electronically. All interested parties who wish to receive paper copies of the publication should contact the NEREUS Secretariat. You may have as many copies as you wish. However, please note that the transport/shipment will be at your costs.


Winner of the first NEREUS-EUROAVIA competition on GMES

Mr. Impedovo, a young graduate from the University of Bari, situated in the NEREUS-region Apulia ,was awarded during the 2012 NEREUS General Assembly. His price comprises the opportunity to attend a GMES-conference of his choice while up to 1000 EUR of his travel costs and conference fee will be covered by NEREUS.  With the academic competition we had addressed the young network community in our regions and wished to support graduates and young professionals on their path to an international space career.

The news of the AWARD has been published on the news section of the University of Bari as well as on the printed copy of the Italian newspaper “ilsole24ore”.

The academic GMES-competition was the outcome of collaboration between NEREUS and Euroavia, the European association for Aeronautics students who share common objectives regarding space education in Europe. NEREUS deeply thanks the NEREUS-program committee for their support, as well as Euroavia and the participants to this competition. NEREUS wishes to pursue the experience and is working on a next edition of this competition. Any ideas and suggestions are welcome.

NEREUS is very committed to space and education issues and developed with its Communication and Training Working Group, the ambitious project of the e-catalogue to promote university based space training, study courses across Europe.

Events and News


ANNOUNCEMENT 2013 NEREUS General Assembly - SAVE the DATE!

Next year’s GA will mark a very important stage for NEREUS. Apart from electing/reconfirming the members of the Management Board and the NEREUS-offices (PLEASE remember to submit your nominations six weeks prior to the GA, latest 21 May 2013) members will be asked to reflect and evaluate the results of the network’s regional strategies and series of activities presented and discussed at the 2012 GA.

The afternoon will be dedicated to give the floor to EU-funded projects that have been mobilized on the NEREUS-platform in the past years (NEREUS flagship and projects by its partners) to present their activities and results.


The OPEN DAYS are a series of annual meetings of regions and local authorities to discuss core themes of European regional policy. Organized by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Commission Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO), the OPEN DAYS have grown into the key event for regional stakeholders (local, regional, national and European decision-makers and experts) offering more than 100 workshops and debates, exhibitions and networking opportunities.

NEREUS wishes to participate in this important event by joining forces with its member regions and relevant space associations (e.g. EURISY). Thus the secretariat invites interested NEREUS-regions to form a consortium for elaborating a proposal for an OPEN DAYS-Workshop. Interested parties are kindly requested to contact the secretariat.

Horizon 2020 Workshops on Space Research and Technology Development

The purpose of these workshops is to directly consult the Space Research community, so as to gather their input on the Commission's proposal for Space Research under Horizon 2020 and the corresponding implementation strategy. These workshops constitute an additional stage to the consultation process that started with the "Hearing on Space Research in FP8" and that has continued with the recent recommendations issued by the FP7 Space Advisory Group.

It is recommended to register early, as the available places are limited: Should you have any question, please send an e-mail to


New associate member! University of Surrey, Surrey Space Center joins NEREUS

The Surrey Space Center is known as a world leading Centre of excellence in Space Engineering. Surrey has been a pioneer since 1979 in small satellites activities leading to the creation of successful spin-out company Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). This company was acquired by Astrium in 2009 resulting in a long-term strategic collaboration with the University.

The academic research laboratories of the University of Surrey include advanced multidisciplinary small satellite and space system engineering techniques for Earth orbit and interplanetary space innovative communications, remote sensing, robotics and space science payloads for small satellites; as well as enabling technologies for low cost space exploitation and planetary exploration.

The University of Surrey is the fourth university joining the network beside the three Italian universities: University of Torino, Politecnico di Torino (Piedmont) and the Politecnico di Milano (Lombardy).

Special issue 2012 of WINDOW on GMES, a GMES4REGIONS Publication

A special issue 2012 of WINDOW on GMES has been released with a special focus on GMES benefits for local government and for growth and jobs.

WINDOW on GMES is a GMES4REGIONS publication. A special article describing the Network of Regional Contacts Office's activities (RCO's) is also included in this issue.

A study on GMES - Assessing the Economic Value of GMES: European Earth Observation (EO) and GMES Downstream Services Market Study"

The European Commission (EC) has commissioned a study - Assessing the Economic Value of GMES: European Earth Observation (EO) and GMES Downstream Services Market Study" - investigating the economic impact of the GMES programme beyond the institutional sector, with a focus on the downstream market (which will be followed by a study on the midstream market in 2013).

Initial results show that GMES is not only a monitoring tool for institutional needs, but can also stimulate economic growth and employment in a wide range of industrial sectors. Overall the impact on employment from GMES is estimated at approximately 83.000 jobs in Europe by 2030.

The study was presented by European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani on 4th December 2012, during the London conference "European Space Solutions", an initiative of the European Commission, hosted by the UK Space Agency. Please find here the EC's press release: Please find here more info on the London conference "European Space Solutions":



  • 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 38 Associate Members from all over Europe.


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