In 2018, the European Commission created a Research & Innovation Consultation Platform gathering the main relevant space stakeholders at the national and European levels. The objective was to identify the R&I needs of these stakeholders and reach a consensus on the technological areas leading to the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for EU-funded Space R&I, which serves as the baseline for Horizon Europe programming.
Although the Consultation Platform has been operational and positively welcomed since its creation, the current evolution of the EU space R&I landscape, in particular the establishment of current and future R&I activities, calls for an adaptation of the organisation of the consultation process.
The new Consultation and Coordination Framework (CCF)
The European Commission set up a Consultation and Coordination Framework with the following objectives:
- Deliver a comprehensive Strategy for EU Space R&I
- Maintain the Strategy in the future, ensuring an evolution concurrent with new developments in the space domain;
- Facilitate an open and transparent consultation to gather needs and perspectives from European stakeholders on the current status of space R&I and their expectations for the future;
- Provide a focal point for interaction between the different space R&I activities to support the creation of a consistent space R&I ecosystem in the EU through identifying synergies, gaps and opportunities, as well as anticipating trends.
Cooperation at the EU level will bring benefits in terms of sharing best practices and understanding and promoting and coordinating R&I activities and technical solutions.
The Framework builds on the following main principles:
- Inclusiveness of interested and relevant stakeholders through the delivery of timely and relevant information;
- Transparency through the dissemination of the outcomes of community events and regular exchanges of information between the R&I activities enabled by the Coordination & Cross-fertilisation meetings;
- Efficiency through the organisation of periodic meetings with clear and tailored objectives;
- Reliability through the collection of inputs and organisation of meetings by a dedicated point of contact;
- Flexibility through the organisation of different formats of meetings adapted to their specific objectives.
The CCF involves stakeholders through two main pillars:
- Community events
- Coordination & Cross-fertilisation meetings (“CC Meetings”)
Regularly, workshops and surveys organised by the European Commission will leverage the different perspectives of the European space R&I community:
- Gathering inputs and perspectives from all interested stakeholders on the way forward.
- Collecting viewpoints and ideas for the future Strategy for EU Space R&I
- Promoting EU-funded space R&I activities.
The registration via starseu.net, the new gateway to EU-funded space R&I, is open to all interested space R&I stakeholders from both EU Member States and Associated Countries. The registration will give access to workshops on different space R&I topics and enable you to provide insights and perspectives on future focus areas and the way forward.
Coordination & cross-fertilisation
Coordination & cross-fertilisation meetings will ensure that the work of the different R&I activities takes place in a consistent framework:
- Informing about the outcomes of the broader consultation process through community events;
- Sharing the status and plans of the R&I activities to identify relevant synergies, gaps or opportunities;
- Discussing perspectives on emerging/disruptive technologies and future business opportunities that could be supported by EU funding;
- Giving way to better coordination between R&I activities and recommendations for preparing and maintaining the Strategy for EU Space R&I.
Participants will be the European Commission and R&I representatives1 from EU Member States and other invited guests from European and EU Member States organisations2, depending on the agenda.
1 Representatives of R&I activities; Balanced representation of different stakeholders (agencies, large industry, SME, RTO, academia, new space, operators, entrepreneurship); Representatives of HaDEA, JRC, ERC, EISMEA, EUSPA etc.; Representatives from Horizon 2020/Horizon Europe projects or external expert groups on invitation only depending on agenda items.
2 For instance, representatives from the ESF/ESSC, ESCC.
Developing the new Strategy for EU Space R&I
As the first activity, the consultation framework will support developing a comprehensive Strategy for EU Space R&I addressing the activities of space R&I funded by the European Union for the first time.