EUSPA welcomes ITRE committee members to its Prague headquarters

EUSPA welcomes ITRE committee members to its Prague headquarters

The visit was an opportunity for EUSPA to highlight the many synergies between EGNSS and Copernicus, and how these synergies benefit EU businesses and citizens.

On 23 February, the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) welcomed representatives from the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) to its Prague headquarters. The committee representatives were also joined by European Commission representatives for a full schedule of presentations, demonstrations and discussions.

The visit, the first since the new regulation on the EU Space Programme came into effect, was an opportunity for committee members and representatives to get a close-up look at how Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus support many of the activities and services that fall within the committee’s portfolio of responsibilities.   

“As custodians of the EU space policy, it’s crucial that the ITRE Committee continues to foster a strong partnership and collaboration with EUSPA’s team, who enable the policy to excel both here on earth and in space. We’re looking forward to hearing more about EUSPA’s management and protection of EU space infrastructure and how space-based innovation is increasingly brought in the daily lives of the EU citizens” declared ITRE Chair, Cristian Bușoi.

 A key topic of discussion was how best to leverage the EU Space Programme’s many synergies.

“The EU Space Programme benefits our society at many levels. For example, with EGNOS we improve the accessibility of our EU airports, whereas with certain Galileo features such as the OSNMA we can better protect critical infrastructures. Generating daily over 16TB of data, Copernicus is a helping hand in understanding climate change. With GOVSATCOM, Europe will be benefitting from a first of its kind secure and resilient satcom infrastructure for governmental users.” said EUSPA Executive Director Rodrigo da Costa. 

Security was also a key theme of the visit. EUSPA’s position as the gatekeeper of security for the EU Space Programme was emphasised, especially as it relates to the safeguarding of space-related assets, both in space and on the ground. The contribution of the EU Space Programme to the safety of European citizens was showcased through concrete applications, such as Galileo’s support to international Search and Rescue (SAR) satellite services, eCall technology and the Public Regulated Service (PRS).

EUSPA’s GOVSATCOM responsibilities were also highlighted. As the entity entrusted with the procurement of the secure operational ground segment (GOVSATCOM Hubs), its operations and the coordination of the user-related aspects of GOVSATCOM, EUSPA is focused on expanding infrastructure development and fostering technological innovation within the service.

In line with the recent report commissioned by the ITRE committee, which examined how to facilitate access and create an open and competitive space market, a presentation on the downstream market and its innovation was given. The presentation focused on the benefits of space products made within the EU, and included a hands-on demonstration of various space technologies and applications. Attendees were able to test out smartphone applications, drones and even a motorbike, all enabled by the EU Space Programme’s technology. 

Concluding the visit, the ITRE Committee and EUSPA agreed that maintaining alignment on the activities within the remit of the committee which are supported by EU space infrastructure will be key to further establishing a strong and competitive EU space sector. 

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