European institutional support to Space Research Technology and Innovation is an essential policy tool paving the way for industry competitiveness and effectiveness in the future. It is an important topic on Eurospace policy agenda since the late 90s. With its involvement in essential processes such as the ESA end-to-end technology strategy and the technology Harmonisation, the European Union commitment to support space systems innovation in its Framework Programmes, and transversal actions such as the Joint Task Force (for dependence reduction), Eurospace has established a constructive dialogue with institutions, able to convey industry inputs for the definition of development action plans. This dialogue is articulated through a variety of industry coordination instruments, built over time, and presented herein.
Today, Eurospace resources regarding Research & Technology are mostly devoted to the ORDIN Process (see below).
The Space Research & Technology Committee (SRTC) exists to enable the European space industry to devise a common strategy for space research and technology, and promote it through all relevant means and channels towards the relevant European instances; and in particular:
- the European Space Agency and its relevant bodies (such as the TECNET, D-TEC, the THAG etc.),
- the European Union, and its relevant bodies (such as the EC DG Research and DG Enterprise, the European Parliament, the Space Council etc.),
- the European Defence Agency, and any other relevant organisation.
To fully perform its mission the SRTC is able to:
- provide industry experts inputs at technology level and support technology roadmapping (identify critical technologies, maintain list of priority actions etc…)
- influence European technology policies and programmes (ESA Technology programmes, European Union procurement rules for R&T, Framework programme contents, etc.).
To fullfil its missions the SRTC is organised with two branches :
- a Technology Harmonisation Panel (THP) and
- a Technology Policy Working Group (TPWG).
The two branches or subgroups have their own mandate, membership and chair.
The SRTC supports in full the following processes:
- ESA Technology harmonisation (10-12 technology roadmaps/year)
- ESA Space technology requirements Database (ESTER): The SRTC organises the annual European industry contribution to ESTER. It is the sole external contributor to the ESA requirements database.
- European Space technology Platform Strategic Research Agenda.
- Eurospace Space R&T priorities
- Eurospace R&T position papers
It is managed by Pierre Lionnet with the support of Jean-Charles Treuet.
The Terms of Reference of Eurospace SRTC are available here.
ORDIN is a proactive consultation process open to all stakeholders from the whole European space supply chain. The process is driven by both bottom-up and top-down exchanges on technology needs, drivers, challenges and capabilities.
The ORDIN objective is to streamline and enhance the capacity of the supply chain to formulate clear and
comprehensive recommendations for future R&D and innovation programmes to ESA and the EU, in time and with the appropriate level of detail.
The process is open to ALL the European supply chain (RTOs, SMEs, newspace / emerging players, midcaps and large groups, primes and equipment suppliers, labs and research entities). Whether or not they are Eurospace members.
The process is supported by a voluntary workshop-based approach to collect information on stakeholders, state-of-the-art, technology trends, requirements, challenges and drivers. Workshops are open, free, and voluntary. They are only open to the Industry supply chain.
The outcome is a supply chain-owned repository of technology requirements, capabilities, roadmaps and
trends. The repository supports the formulation of technology recommendations as required, on-time, and under stakeholders’ control.
Eurospace objective is twofold:
• Improving the communication with ESA and the EU institutions when it comes to support
• Improving the cohesion of the supply chain through increased industry exchanges and knowledge
of the capabilities available in all Europe
The process eventually supports a globally enhanced end-to-end European space technology strategy both for ESA and the EU. ORDIN activities are fully integrated with and coordinated by the Space Research and technology Committee of Eurospace.
It is managed by Jean-Charles Treuet.
The Terms of Reference of Eurospace ORDIN are available here.
Technology Harmonisation Panel
The Technology Harmonisation Panel (THP) is the technical support group of SRTC.
It is composed of technology experts from industry, laboratories and academia, all contributing to the building and preservation of European space sector capabilities and readiness. THP members are not necessarily Eurospace members, they can be from non member organisations.
The THP is the principal interlocutor to ESA and EU for all activities relevant to technology roadmapping and prioritisation. It supports in full the ESA-coordinated Technology Harmonisation process (download the Harmonisation information note here and the harmonisation brochure here) and issues annually the updated list of Space R&T priorities (see latest issue here).
The THP is strong of more than 1500 members from all EU countries, covering the full span of space technology expertise, it supports technology strategy processes in a fully transparent and voluntary way. It is the largest working body of Eurospace.
Between 2018 and 2020 the members of the THP have joined forces with representatives of the space SME and RTO communities in the frame of the STEPP project (funded by the European Parliament) to propose a complete activity plan for Horizon Europe. The STEPP input to the Horizon Europe workprogramme for competitiveness in the space sector is available here: STEPP Inputs for the SRIA for HEurope Space Technologies FEB2020
If you want to join the THP please contact Eurospace.
The Technology Policy WG (TPWG) coordinates the elaboration of Eurospace common positions in all areas of technology policy and programmes at European level.
Its mandate covers, in particular, the following areas
- ESA technology programmes (GSTP, TRP, etc.)
- ESA Product policy (and other relevant actions)
- EU/EC actions (such as technology funding, FP rules and procedures, preparation and contents)
- European Space Technology Platform
- ASD RTC actions (Commissioner briefings, Position Papers, FP feedback, cross sectoral technologies etc.)
- European space technology programmes
- Eurospace RT Position papers
It is managed by Pierre Lionnet (Eurospace).