OPEN DAYS 2014: Workshop “SPACE4REGIONS: Satellite solutions as a driver for innovation and growth”

The 12th European week of Regions and Cities has taken place in Brussels from 6 to 9 October. This is an annual four-day event during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance. 

In this context, under the umbrella of the regional Alliance “Regions for space applications alliance”, Apulia Region and NEREUS, have organised the workshop “Space4Regions”. With more than 100 participants, the workshop gathered representatives from ESA, EU institutions, regional and local authorities, from academia and the business sector, to discuss the fundamental role of “Satellite solutions as a driver for innovation and growth”.

The workshop comprised two panels: the first one was opened by Nichi Vendola, President of NEREUS and Apulia Region. He highlighted how NEREUS could play a strategic role in the development of a space regional policy by proposing initiatives at European level and by creating a platform of opportunities for key players in space.

“We are ready”, quoted Nichi Vendola “to open a dialogue with ESA, the European Commission, and the Parliament for a reinforced action towards an harmonised development of industrial capacity and systematic use of space in European Regions.”

Other speakers of the first panel included: Lucio Bernardini from Basilicata Region; Michele Miele, Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union, Attaché Space and Peter Breger, Deputy Head of Unit “Copernicus services” European Commission - DG Enterprise.  All agreed on the impact of Copernicus and Galileo in our daily life for fostering regional growth and innovation. Lucio Bernardini Papalia presented Basilicata Smart Specialization Strategy in which space technologies hold a crucial role. NEREUS, he said, while giving voice to the regions contributes to a space policy more focused on the needs of citizens facilitating international cooperation of regional space clusters”. Michele Miele, Italian PermRep underlined “space is not only for Countries with big infrastructures (like Italy) but should be a matter of all 28 Member States because space provides services to all”. Mr Breger, remarqued how Copernicus helps regions realise their full potential in securing growth and jobs, while regional services demonstrate the benefits of space to the citizens.

The second session, moderated by Giovanni Sylos Labini from Apulian AeroSpace Cluster, focused on the regional best practices from European regions: Andalucia, Aquitaine, Bremen, Hessen and Saragossa, underlining the benefits of space for their territories, companies and citizens.

Piero Messina from the Coordination with Member States Office noted "There are untapped opportunities at regional level to further leverage on space based solutions to tackle societal challenges. We are grateful to NEREUS and its Presidency for their effort. We will be working together even closer to establish a fruitful cooperation"

This event shows the strong commitment of the President Nichi Vendola to promote the position of  NEREUS as a key-interface vis a vis of all space actors to develop the regional dimension of space including programmes dedicated to education and general public outreach.