19 October 2007. Experts from the European space industry, ESA, from national agencies and from technology innovation agencies met at ESPI in the context of the study on “Stimulating and sustaining technology innovation in the space sector”.
The almost 20 invited experts brainstormed and discussed the themes: challenges for increased technology innovation in space; new funding mechanisms of activities to stimulate innovation in space, diffusion of innovation; is the space cluster in industry and academia too isolated and thereby limiting diffusion of new ideas and entry of new companies?; succession planning, recruitment and generation change issues.
Technology innovation is critical for the continued success of Europe’s space industry, and for space to deliver cost effective services to its citizens and for space science. The US Government invests about six times more than Europe in space, mainly due to the high portion of US military space investments.
Europe has both to be smart, and to cooperate amongst the EU and ESA Member States to develop those technologies which European space endeavors need in order to fulfill the space ambitions as recently outlined in the European Space Policy and the related proposal for a European Space Programme, as was pointed out by ESPI’s study manager Rolf Skaar. The results from this workshop will determine the recommendations in the final ESPI report which is planned to be ready for publication at the end of 2007.