Round Table on Communication, Education and Training (CET)

Tuesday, 08 June 2010, 15:10 h

The Round Table on CET co-chaired by Malecka Saleman (CNES) and Roya Ayazi (NEREUS-Secretary General) brought together representatives from renewed space centers and the European Commission for exchanging on innovative and successful approaches of space communication targeted at different societal groups. Special emphasis was put on young people and how to attract them to space as an interesting field of study and work. For this reason the organizers had also invited Sylvain Rouard, a postgraduate student at ISAE to join the debate. Viewing the whole conversation from the perspective of someone who is currently directly involved in the education process as a learner, he stressed the importance of hands on experience.



Following a vivid discussion of different regional models all participants agreed that NEREUS is a very valuable platform to share experiences at European level and to learn more about what other regions do. Especially for regional player who do not have the means like large national organisations, NEREUS offers an important forum to get to know more about what is going on in other regions and countries. Catherine Muller, EAST-Midlands, suggested setting up a block on the NEREUS-website so that members could regularly communicate and get to know more about ongoing activities Europe wide.


Ms Ayazi introduced the round table by presenting the network and its efforts regarding the young network community. Making students aware of the huge potential space offers them for their future careers but also the significance of space to meet today’s global challenges, are pivotal to NEREUS. Amongst others, the network plans to engage with a whole set of activities aimed at young people, such as a cooperation agreement with EUROAVIA (European Association of Aerospace Students) and special targeted events. Additionally NEREUS offers its members a unique opportunity to communicate and share information regarding internships, jobs and training opportunities at a European scale.


Ms Saleman, co-chair of the NEREUS-CET-Working Group, gave a short insight in the group’s activities and presented CNES initiatives on youth Education/Training. Malecka highlighted that besides sharing experiences on space education the NEREUS platform is an ideal ground to set up common actions and projects between different regions throughout Europe. Gaining experience by getting connected to other players at international level it might enrich and advance educational programmes.


Catherine Muller, speaking on behalf of the National Space Center (East Midlands), presented CET-Activities in the UK. She proposed that the NEREUS-CET WG gets engaged with identifying pedagogical issues related to the teaching and awareness of space technology, as well as any shortfalls and requirements in training and education. CET WG partners should then address these issues jointly at a European scale, either by establishing consortia to bid for specific calls within the EU and beyond, or by initiating themes and calls within existing programmes. The findings of the working group might be also suitable to discuss and reflect on together with policy makers from European institutions.


Christophe, representing Cité de l’Espace said that space ranks among the three topics that fascinate the youth most. After Egypt and volcanoes, space is number three on their popularity scale. He highlighted that this fascination is a tremendous chance for space communicators and not to be missed out. Space educational programmes have to respond to this fascination and show that space is exciting and makes you see the world with different eyes.


Bernhard Schnittger, European Commission – DG Enterprise, reported on the communication strategy of the Union regarding Galileo and EGNOS. Annually the Commission sets up a communication strategy consisting of different initiatives aimed at making European citizens aware of what Galileo and EGNOS can be used for, in order to raise their awareness that European flagship projects brings tangible results. It is an utmost concern of the Commission to identify illustrative examples that are suited to grow enthusiasm about Global Satellite Navigation.


Laura Gatti, representative of Thales Alenia Space, one of NEREUS-associate members couldn’t attend the debate in person but sent her presentation. She wished to present the SEEDS-initiative: SEEDS, a joint project of three European universities all situated in NEREUS-regions, in Piedmont (Politecnico di Torino), in Midi/P (Supaero Toulouse, now ISAE) and in Bremen (Bremen Universität) under the auspices of the Directorate of Human Spaceflight of the European Space Agency (ESA). Its main object is to prepare advanced and ready-to-work specialists in the challenging and fascinating domain of the Human Space Exploration and of the development of the related systems.


Background information on the topics and objectives of the round table can be found in the concept paper and presentations of the participants.


The exchange of experiences went on the next day during paper presentations of innovative projects in the area of CET. For more information, please refer to


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