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#EU-ESA #space ministers to discuss the future of Earth observation in Europe




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The EU-ESA informal space ministerial meeting taking place in Tallinn today (7 November) will focus on the evolutions of the EU Earth Observation Program Copernicus in the years 2020+.

Estonian Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo said that the aim of the meeting is to have a politically high-level, inclusive debate involving all critical parties, to provide strategic input for the future of the Copernicus programme and pave way for the negotiations on the next EU budgetary period.

The Copernicus programme, with EU investments in 2014-2020 totalling to 4.3 billion euro, is one of the two largest EU Space programmes providing valuable data from land, sea and atmosphere, for better public services and also business opportunities.

Today's discussion will focus, among others, on how to foster space entrepreneurship based on the Copernicus satellite data by involving private-sector investments in a more active way.


"As the EU Presidency, it is our priority is focus on having better public services while also boosting economic and social returns resulting from wider and more sophisticated uptake of space data," Palo said.

Minister Palo explained that due to the growing interest and enhanced investments from the private sector, speed and flexibility are becoming increasingly important factors in global competition.

"We want to emphasize that space is something in which all member states and businesses, regardless of their size, can join in. The more we create opportunities for the smart use of space data both in the private and public sectors, the more jobs and investments will be made in areas and regions which have not yet had this experience," added Palo.


The ministerial meeting will start with a working lunch featuring speeches by internationally recognized start-up entrepreneurs Robbie Schingler and Pekka Laurila. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and Jan Woerner, Director-General of the European Space Agency, will also take part in the ministerial meeting.

The informal meeting of ministers constitutes a political high point for The European Space Week taking place from 3-9 November, organized by the Estonian Presidency in cooperation with the European Commission, the European Space Agency and other international partners.

The focus of Space Week will be on the new and innovative European space business, space technologies and public-private partnerships. A series of events will take place during the week - Garage48 space hackathon, Award gala of the Pan-European Space Business Ideas Competition, European Interparliamentary Space Conference, the official opening of the European Space Agency Business Incubator and a two-day conference on space business and technology.

More information

Official website of the ministerial meeting, including agenda and live stream

Who-is-who for the EU-ESA space ministerial meeting

Official website of the Space Week

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