Round Table on Regional Policy

Tuesday, 08 June 2010, 09.40h

This round table centered on the question: What role does space play for regions and – what role do regions play for space? Apart from that the participants tackled the issue how space applications could contribute to the EU 2020 Strategy objectives. For more information, please refer to the concept paper.


NEREUS-president Bénéteau who chaired this round table, had underlined in his opening speech three elements as being essential for a prosperous development of space markets in Europe: sufficient funding for space applications, standardization within Europe and spreading the understanding what space can be used for among regions and their citizens.


Gerhard Stahl, Secretary General of the Committee of the regions sent a video message and thanked NEREUS for organizing the workshop in order to promote this important policy field. Stahl stressed that the CoR is very pleased to collaborate with NEREUS on this important matter and put emphasis on the fact that all European regions, the one’s with a strong space infrastructure but also the one’s without a strong space infrastructure and industry can benefit from the use of space. Space is an important driver for the cohesion in Europe.


The participants of this round table where a mix of regional politicians, regional actors and representatives of European institutions. José António Vieira da Silva Contente, Regional Secretary for Science, Technology and Equipments from the Azores explained the impact of space technologies on his archipelago with regard to its geographical postion as well as with a number of illustrative examples.


In addition to that Ms. Geraldine Naja-Corbin, European Space Agency, Head of the Institutional Matters & Strategies Studies Office,  and Félix Bellido Pla, Deputy Managing Director of the Madrid Aerospace Cluster, Madrid Region joined the debate as invited speakers and shared their views with the NEREUS-community. Felix said that the European space community has worked quite hard in different programs but to really profit from potential space business opportunities, more ambition is needed.  All resources and capabilities at regional, national and EU-level have to be aligned and campaigned strategically. In order to be globally competitive, European activities have to be realized in a timely manner.


The NEREUS-Community will continue to explore the opportunities of regional policy and its instruments for boosting the market place for space technologies. The NEREUS-Working Group Regional Policy will go on to work on this topic and NEREUS plans further events to bring different societal groups together to exchange on this subject and define recommendations for regional and EU-policy maker.


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