The event “Regions as Key Players in European Space Policy” will take place on 20 March 2023, from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM, at the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia before the EU, in Brussels. You may download the agenda here (link) and register here (link).
In recent years, we have witnessed a renewed interest in space observation and exploration across society. European space infrastructures have grown increasingly mature, implying a new dimension of data availability, leading to more space solutions at the service of society. In other words, space data and applications are advantageous for business, government and people, helping them to better respond to major societal and policy challenges.
Regions are the key users and procurers of space-based applications, products and services. This is strongly the case in Catalonia, where the government approved in October 2020 a NewSpace strategy. This strategy is coordinated by the Government of Catalonia in collaboration with the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), the i2cat Foundation, and the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia (ICGC), with the objective of boosting a NewSpace innovation hub in the region, globally connected.
At regional level space is increasingly recognised as a strategic asset and important driver for innovation, economic growth, high-level employment and but also as an important source of knowledge to be better prepared for adaption to climate change. In fact, many regions integrated the use of space into their regional economic and Smart Specialisation Strategies. Other regions follow the example of Catalonia and define their own space strategies. NEREUS (Network of European Regions Using Space Technologies) offers them a platform to exchange, develop joint positions and share information and knowledge. NEREUS represents the interests of European regions that use space technologies whilst simultaneously highlighting the regional dimension of European space policy and programmes.
This renewed interest in space activities has led the Government of Catalonia, NEREUS and IEEC to organise an event in Brussels to highlight the role of European regions in Europe’s space policy.
This event will be part of the series of events being planned in Europe and the USA on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Joan Oró (1923-2004), a Catalan biochemist whose research contributed to space exploration and led him to participate in several NASA missions. In this regard, the event in Brussels will begin with a panel that will introduce the legacy of the biochemist and will show up two experiments at the forefront of space exploration: the Hypatia I Mission to the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah; and the MELiSSA Pilot Plant, a key infrastructure led by ESA and devoted to develop life support systems for long-term space missions.