With around 300 participants present and more than 800.000 followers via twitter, the SPACE4YOU International conference in Bari was a unique event that contributed to bring European space policy closer to citizens. Organized by Apulia region and NEREUS in collaboration with the Apulian Aerospace District (Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale – DTA) the conference brought together representatives of European, national and regional governments, European Commission, European and national space agencies as well as space associations, industries and universities.
Concrete examples and pragmatic messages were brought into the discussion of the thematic and best practice sessions as well as round table debates that animated the 2-day event. A special session was dedicated to students and young professionals giving them the opportunity to meet representatives from European institutions, industry and academic sector. An exceptional “Space Exhibition” with exhibits from NEREUS and European and National Space Agencies (ESA, ASI, CNES) highlighted regional, national and European space activities.
Nichi Vendola, President of Apulia region, highlighted the importance of space for tackling social and economic challenges of the everyday life: “space gives advanced solutions to complex problems”. Thus, he concluded, Europe should invest more in space and in general in research and innovation, leading to social innovation.
Loredana Capone, regional minister for Economic Development, underlined the local achievements in terms of competitiveness and growth derived by regional investments in space research, innovation and internationalization. She also stressed the importance of the NEREUS platform to share regional best practices and to cooperate at European level.
Christian Bruns, NEREUS Vice-President also emphasized the NEREUS-platform as a means for regions and regional stakeholders to cooperate and exchange but also as a key tool for regions to communicate to the citizens the enormous benefits of space uses.
In her final remarks, Roya Ayazi, NEREUS Secretary General put the accent on the need to work towards a systematic up-take of space services at regional level and called for a an increased involvement of local and regional authorities and regional stakeholder in space matters. Awareness raising and efficient communication of the potential of space are vital in this respect.
The event received very broad recognition and coverage by Italian and International media. More info (in Italian and English) on the conference can be found at:
Apulia website (in Italian):
Conference programme and other info.