Brussels, 3 June 2022 – the Association of European Space Research Establishments (ESRE) currently chaired by ONERA organized a landmark workshop with the European Commission on “space challenges for the EU”. The Commission was represented by Mrs Catherine Kavvada, Director of Unit B “Innovation & Outreach” of the General Directorate for Defence, Industry & Space (DG DEFIS) accompanied by several key officers.

After the long COVID-induced travel ban period, this first face-to-face meeting aimed at updating mutual understanding on key areas for possible contributions by ESRE to the EC space priorities.

Further to an introduction of ESRE by President Bruno Sainjon, DG DEFIS detailed its top-level priorities i.e., the New Space, Secured Communications, including quantum technologies, and Space Traffic Management/ Space Situational Awareness (STM/SSA). Director Kavvada made clear that research is key for nurturing the whole value chain and that space research activities must meet the policy objectives that are competitiveness of the EU industry and fulfilment of EU citizens’ societal needs.

ESRE and DG DEFIS also addressed the forthcoming EU partnership for “Global Competitive Space Systems” to which ESRE is being partner.

DG DEFIS hailed the ESRE initiative for the workshop and called upon some follow-ups at dedicated technical levels. Director Kavvada emphasized that deepening dynamic collaborations between agencies, Research & Technology Organizations (RTOs), Prime industries, SMEs and academia is eagerly needed to make Europe “the best in space”.

The workshop gathered a dozen of ESRE and Commission members, among whom CEOs of three ESRE RTOs.