In the last 20 years, Europe has become a technology pioneer through applications such as the Earth Observation and Galileo. Europe has invested in the exploration of space with costeffective missions and supported collaborative initiatives with the European Space Agency securing its strategic role in this domain.
What's the benefit for citizens:
Recently, the European Union decided to invest in GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) which will be instrumental in managing the consequences of natural disasters and climate change. Galileo, amongst other applications, will aid the development of the search and rescue mechanism (SAR).
The EU funded research will contribute to the development of a European Space Policy. This in turn, will support Community policies in the areas of agriculture, environment, fisheries, transport and telecommunication either through space-observation tools or space-based solutions.
What's the benefit for researchers:
Space-based science is an important driving force for new technological developments that have an impact on our daily lives.
Research activities during the lifetime of FP7 will be drawn from the following areas:
• Space-based application at the service of European society (developing satellite observation systems and the GMES services for the management of the environment, security, agriculture, forestry and meteorology, civil protection and risk management)
• Exploration of space (the provision of support for collaborative initiatives between ESA or national space agencies, co-ordinate efforts for the development of space-borne telescopes)
• Research and Technological Development for strengthening Space foundations (support research for long term needs such as space transportation, bio-medicine, life and physical sciences in space)
What's the benefit for industry and SMEs:
Space is a strategic industrial sector for growth and its applications underpin economic activity and government services. European companies, with SMEs being the overwhelming majority, are key actors in the worldwide commercial market of satellite manufacturing, launch services, satellite operations and downstream service providers. In order to sustain a competitive industry new research and technologies are required and the support offered through FP7 promises to create these opportunities.