At the end of February 2012 Brussels hosted the SpaceEU conference. The event was directed to SMEs from the European space industry, which wished to make new contacts and learn about new opportunities. Poland was represented by several firms, union of Polish SME, the Space Research Center and the National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU.
The next years will be very important for the development of the European and Polish space industry. The seventh framework programme (FP7), implemented by the European Commission, is at its end. Soon the FP7 will be replaced by the Horizon 2020 program. This one will also fund projects related to space and space technology usage on Earth. At the same time the European Space Agency also plans to initiate and conduct a series of important projects and programmes. In all of these activities there is a place for European companies, institutes and consortia.
SpaceEU was one of the events dedicated to SMEs from the European space industry. There, SMEs had a chance to get the latest information on the Galileo, GMES, FP7 and upcoming Horizon 2020 program. It was also possible to learn the development objectives of ESA and other European and non-European space agencies. Presentations from the US, China, Russia, Ukraine, Japan and South Africa, which focused on cooperation opportunities with Europe.
During the SpaceEU conference, there were two special sessions prepared for the attendants – the “brokerage sesssion” and the “matchmaking session”. At the “brokerage session” each representative had a chance to have a “face-to-face” discussion about cooperation opportunities with ESA managers and other SME delegates. At the “matchmaking session” firms and institutions could make a three minute presentation about their own achievements and cooperation goals. Both sessions were actively attended by Polish companies, union of SMEs and institutes.
The conference finished with the amazing presentation of Belgian astronaut Frank de Winne, who spent six months in 2009 on the ISS as a member of Expedition 20/21.
This was already the third conference in the last months to which Kosmonauta.net representative attended. A month earlier, on the 26th and 27th January Prague hosted the Galileo Application Congress on satellite navigation. A few days later Kosmonauta.net attended the NordicBaltSat conference in Tallinn. Together with SpaceEU, these three conferences present a wide spectrum of opportunities that are ahead for the European space industry.