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START — Result In Brief

Project ID: 3348
Funded under: FP6-AEROSPACE
Country: Bulgaria

Launching a space hub

A database has been built containing information on the aeronautics and space expertise found in 13 EU countries. Under-exploitation of the research potential of the new Member States constitutes inefficient use of EU research resources, a problem that this project targeted.
Launching a space hub
Central and eastern European countries have a great deal of experience in aerospace research. Many of them participated for decades in international projects with Russia. The problem lies in the fact that this expertise is not very well known outside these countries. In addition, despite the efforts made so far, the scientific communities from new EU Member States and those of the old ones still form two distinct groups and are not well integrated.

The aim of the EU-funded Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) 'Stimulate aerospace research and technology in associate candidate countries' (START) project was to try to address these problems. The first objective concerned recording the past experience of and future potential for aeronautics and space research in the new EU Member States and candidate countries. This involved collecting, sorting, presenting and disseminating the available information.

The consortium comprised 10 partners from 9 countries. They carried out a survey of the aerospace field which resulted in the creation of a user-friendly, interactive and searchable database. It included those individuals and organisations involved in or possessing aerospace expertise in central and eastern European countries.

The START database and the information that it contains has proved useful to the European aerospace community. It has helped to identify potential partners and areas of collaboration for submitting project proposals for FP7. It is also another step towards the successful integration of the EU’s research efforts to support the European aeronautics and space industry in the face of strong global competition.

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