NEREUS General Assembly 2024 follow-up!

The NEREUS General Assembly 2024 held on June 11th at the European Committee of the Regions welcomed approximately 60 participants, including space experts, regional and political representatives, EU officials, and members from industry and academia with translations in French and Polish. This year’s General Assembly featured two panel debates focusing on the appeal and distinctiveness of NEREUS regions within the current cohesion and structural policy framework (2021-2027).

NEREUS President Thierry Cotelle delivered the introductory speech, emphasizing that NEREUS is a unique regional network focused on space technologies, aiming to link territorial and regional policies with space applications.

Invited speakers from the Committee of the Regions (Nicolas Brookes, Member of the Cabinet of the President of the European Committee of the Regions Vasco Alves Cordeiro) shared his views on discussing the future of cohesion policy and upcoming activities of the Committee of the Regions.

The European Commission was represented by Jolanda van Eijndthoven, DG Defis, Head of Unit Space Data Economy & International Cooperation, who shared “Ideas on Making Better Use of Space Data” and what are future plans for optimal service uptake and boost competitiveness and economic security.

Important points of GA discussion were updates to network activities: Benedikte Bejm on behalf of the Occitanie team, gave an update on the next Regional symposium on October 2-3, 2024 in Toulouse/Occitanie (link).

The first panel comprised of representatives of NEREUS-regions and an external expert, “Attracting Investments and Businesses,” explored what makes regions attractive for space investments. Regions shared their promotional strategies and experiences in developing their space ecosystems. Ms. Ayazi explained that NEREUS is about sharing best practices and knowledge on integrating space into regional activities. You may download the presentation of Adriano Gilli, responsible for the sector Attractiveness, Internationalisation and Research (Emilia Romagna) here (link). You may download the leaflet for the Clust-ER Innovate and read more about its activities using the QR code below (link).


Panelists (from the left): External Expert: Vittorio Bava, Open Innovation Consultant, Verhaert (ESA BIC), Vito Bavaro, Head of Section Digital Transformation (Apulia), Bärbel Deisting, Director of Space and Space Applications bavAIRia e.V. (Bavaria),  Thierry Cotelle, NEREUS President – Regional Councillor, Occitanie / Pyrénées – Méditerranée Region, Roya Ayazi, NEREUS Secretary General, Jeronimo Falcón, Senior Project Manager of PROEXCA (Canary Islands), Adriano Gilli, responsible for the sector Attractiveness, Internationalisation and Research (Emilia Romagna)

Ms Ayazi presented the latest NEREUS activities from 2023 with an outlook to 2024 (link) and launched the discussion on the statutory affairs for 2024.

Roya Ayazi, NEREUS Secretary General

Ms Ayazi together with the NEREUS Treasurer, Duarte Cota.

The second panel, “Attracting Smart Brains, (Young) Professionals, and People,” discussed strategies to attract educated individuals and researchers, highlighting what makes regions appealing for space professionals. Ms. Chrysaki  highlighted the importance of robust educational frameworks and regional growth, supported by NEREUS activities such as the UNIVERSEH project and the Working Group on Earth Observation as well as the education/training webinar series (link). Speakers shared insights on regional strategies to attract professionals, combat brain drain, and enhance industry partnerships and they agreed that the interdisciplinary nature of space across all sectors, space education starting at a very young age, and talent exchange could help attract more professionals to these regions.

Panelists (from the left): Eric Hallot, Head of Unit for the Institut Scientifique de Service Public – ISSeP in Wallonia, Andrej Banka, Deputy Director at the Marshal Office of the Malopolska Region, Margarita Chrysaki, NEREUS Communication, Policy, and Project officer, Daniel Sors, Head of Services and Industrial Promotion of IEEC in Catalonia


Stay tuned and we invite all members to register for the Regional Symposium by NEREUS regions on October 2-3, 2024 (link).



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