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Defence Industry and Space

Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) encouraged the development of new concepts in space transportation and space technologies. It also aimed to reduce the vulnerability of space-based systems and services.

Through FP7, the EU financed research and development activities to:

  • develop space-based applications for European Society, in particular 'Copernicus' - the EU's flagship space programme (formerly known as the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security - GMES);
  • strengthen space 'foundations' such as space science and exploration, space transportation, and space technology, whilst also working together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and other European, national, or regional entities;
  • support cooperation with specific countries such as Russia, Ukraine, China, or African countries;
  • support research that benefits small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and develop studies in certain policy areas (so-called "cross-cutting activities").

A budget of EUR 1.4 billion was allocated in FP7 for space-related projects. From this amount, 85% went to Copernicus and the remaining 15% was used to support space science and exploration, space transportation, and space technology. The ESA received a specific grant of about EUR 700 million from the FP7 Copernicus budget.

A total of 262 space projects have been supported by FP7: 19 projects in the 1st call, 27 in the 2nd call, 77 in the 3rd call, 33 in the 4th call, 50 in the 5th call, and 56 in the 6th call.