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Space Industry

  • April 27th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

galileo-logo1.jpgPlans have been announced for the consolidation of Europe’s space efforts into a European Space Program.

The new program is to bring together the existing European Space Agency and 29 countries.

The Vice President of the European Commission responsible for space industries, Gunter Verheugen, announced the move at a Brussels media conference (26.4.07); accompanied by the publication of researched documents.

He said most aspects of work and life entailed the use of space industry products of some kind, e.g. transfer of information or phone calls via satellite, weather information, agricultural uses or transport management.

Europe’s industry was competitive but would need government support, especially as it faced growing competition from the traditional leaders in the field, the USA and Russia, and newer entrants especially China, India and Japan.

He acknowledged the hold-ups occurring with the funding and development of the much-vaunted Galileo program, the satellite navigation system conceived as a rival to America’s GPS.

He expected that despite the set-up problems with Galileo, when operational the system itself would be commercially very sustainable.

The European Space Program will need to be legislated among the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament; joint decisions on maintaining it would then become binding on member governments of the EU.

Facts provided about the European space industry: Turnover in 2005 was EU 4.4-billion (A$7.27-billion; dcerates.com, 27.4.07) with a workforce of 28 000; it is estimated to sustain “downstream” economic activity five times bigger than the space segment itself. The European industry has achieved 40% global market share for the manufacturing, launching and operation of satellites.

Reference:

European space industry and examples of space applications; European Commission, Brussels, 25.4.07, MEMO/07/154

European Space program – Preliminary elements; Commission Staff Working Document, European Commission, Brussels, 26.4.07, SEC(2007)505 Draft

European Space Policy: Summary of the impact assessment; Commission Staff Working Document, European Commission, Brussels, 26.4.07, COM(2007)506 Draft

European Space Policy; Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, Commission of the European Communities, Brussels, 26.4.07, COM(2007)212 Draft

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