Eurospace releases today its views to support the elaboration of the 9th Framework Programme for research in Europe. This has been a collaborative work of a dedicated Task Force established in March 2017. The position is available as a complete paper with annexes (including the preliminary scoping of a Joint Technology Initiative in the form af a Research and Innovation Action Plan - RIAP scoping paper) and as an executive summary.
With the relatively limited funding available for space technology development in Europe, the matter of its effectiveness is absolutely crucial. Developments should be appropriately targeted and correctly performed, avoiding unnecessary duplications whenever possible.
It is absolutely essential that more efforts in coordination be undertaken to clarify the understanding of needs and issues and ensure maximum effectiveness of public and private investments in space technology with the establishment of focused initiatives - such as the Strategic Research Clusters (SRC) approach or Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) - with well identified objectives and leaving appropriate room for industry involvement in the definition of development plans. These efforts shall also provide for synergetic developments and continuity with opportunity driven (bottom-up) research activities.
FP9 shall support the space sector in addressing medium to long-term challenges in an evolving geopolitical and market environment. A budget envelope for FP9-Space in the order of 2 Billion Euro should be made available, of which 1.5 earmarked for space (upstream) RDT&I and 0.5 for market development, outreach and other actions.
FP9-Space shall focus on: technology readiness for institutional/EU programmes and international cooperation; autonomy and non-dependence for critical technologies, building blocks and access to space; competitiveness and innovation for space systems and services; safety and sustainability of operations in the orbital and industrial environments; and promoting the take up of space services, applications and uses of space data.
Ensure the preservation of a dedicated Space line in FP9 to address the unique European challenges of space technology development.
Establish a global and inclusive vision for FP9-Space with the involvement of all stakeholders, public and private, large and small.
Ensure the appropriate involvement of all technology stakeholders, suppliers, promoters and users of space technology alike;
Address all areas of space RDT&I needs, from competitiveness support at components, equipment and system level, for market driven activities, for EU institutional programmes and for the take up of space services and the exploitation of space data, with appropriate instruments, tools and budgets.
Organise FP9 to support the appropriate identification of RDT&I needs and suitable coordination and implementation mechanisms for different RDT&I strands (see the 4 Pillars organisation in the Programmatic overview)
Support the emergence of a JTI for Space, providing opportunities for larger and more ambitious projects, and enabling the expression of industry driven priorities for a competitive and sustainable industrial base and supply chain, and add leverage to industry investment for innovation in space components, materials, equipment, software, manufacturing processes for spacecraft, launchers and ground segments. The JTI is expected to enable larger projects