EU space research aims to foster a cost-effective, competitive, and innovate space industry and research community. It ensures that space technology, services and applications meet EU policy needs, as outlined in the Space Strategy for Europe (COM(2016) 705) and the R&I needs of the Space Programme in the period 2021 to 2027 (COM(2018) 447). EU-funded space R&I provides cutting-edge solutions to everyday societal problems, which benefit EU citizens. It also ensures that the EU remains competitive in space and has the capacity to access and use space with a high level of autonomy.
Space research funding
EU space research is supported through framework programmes. Horizon 2020 is the current framework programme covering the period from 2014 to 2020. It was preceded by FP7 which ran from 2007 to 2013, and FP6 which ran from 2002 to 2006. The support of these programmes is critical to the ongoing development of the space sector. In particular:
- It encourages the research community and the private sector to intensify their efforts in the space sector and boost investment;
- It helps to sustain a competitive space industry including manufacturers, service providers, and operators;
- It provides the services and infrastructure necessary for the development and exploitation of new technologies.
Specific actions are often carried out in cooperation with the research activities of EU countries and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Over EUR 1.4 billion will be devoted to Horizon 2020 to support Europe’s competitiveness in space research.
Documents and brochures
- A strategic research and innovation agenda for EU-funded space research supporting competitiveness
- EU Space Industrial Policy: Releasing the Potential for Growth in the Space Sector (Commission Communication)
- Towards a Space Strategy for the EU that Benefits its Citizens (Commission Communication)
- Research*eu – focus N6 June 2010 - This edition of 'research*eu focus' features a number of excellent European space research projects.
- Space for a safer world (2010) (545 kB) - the publication presents 8 chosen space research projects that help save lives.