Space research: Joint workshop to promote EU-Russia co-operation

January 27, 2003

Brussels, January 24, 2003

A two-day workshop jointly organised by the European Commission, the Russian Aviation and Space Agency Rosaviakosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA) started yesterday in Moscow at the premises of Rosaviakosmos. The event brings together 250 Russian and European VIP participants with the objective of identifying concrete opportunities for the participation of Russian organisations in EU research projects in the fields of satellite navigation (GNSS/GALILEO), global monitoring of the environment and security (GMES), satellite communications, space related life and physical sciences, as well as human and robotic exploration.

The workshop will be opened by Yuri Koptiev, Director General of Rosaviakosmos, Jack Metthey , Director for Space and Transport Research at the European Commission, and Antonio Rodotà, Director General of the European Space Agency. Participants will represent all major European and Russian players in the field of space research.

The EU's 6 th Research Framework Programme (FP6 2003-2006) promotes opportunities for co-operation between Europe and Russia in the field of space. "We are not building an EU science and technology fortress. On the contrary, our interest is to build a European Research Area that is open to the world and co-operation with Russian scientists and industry on space matters is of undeniable mutual interest", commented European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin.

The Green Paper on European Space Policy

On 21 January 2003 the Commission adopted the Green Paper on EU Space Policy. The Paper, prepared by the Commission in co-operation with the European Space Agency (ESA), looks into Europe's assets and weaknesses in this sector. As a basis for a broad consultation, the report tackles key issues such as the EU's independent access to space, scientific excellence in this field, the industrial and technological base, relevant markets, human resources, the legal and institutional framework, international co-operation, security and environmental aspects. It aims to launch a debate with all players - national and international organisations, the EU space industry and users, scientific community and citizens.

The EU 6 th Research Framework Programme

In order to implement the 6 th EU Research Framework Programme, the European Commission published last December first calls for proposals for a €5 million budget inviting research centres, universities and enterprises to participate. Until 2006 over €17.5 billion will be allocated to create the "European Research Area" (ERA). FP6 aims, inter alia , at "Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area (ERA)" through seven key priorities: life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health; information society technologies; nano-technologies and nano-science; aeronautics and space; food quality and safety; sustainable development, global change and ecosystems; citizens and governance. €1.075 billion will go to aerospace research.

EU-ESA-Russian co-operation in the space field

Today's workshop is the first of several initiatives being planned by the European Commission, Russian governmental bodies, the industry and the scientific community in order to identify the detailed scope of opportunities offered to Russian organisations under the 6th Framework Programme.

Space research has long been identified as a priority area for in-depth co-operation between the EU and Russia. To this end the European Commission, ESA and Rosaviakosmos signed a joint Memorandum on "New Opportunities for a Euro-Russian Space Partnership" in December 2001, proposing the establishment of a long-term partnership between Europe and the Russian Federation in the areas of satellite navigation systems, launch vehicle development and facilities and GMES.

To discuss the Green Paper, aerospace research in FP6 and European-Russian co-operation in the space field, European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin and ESA Director-General Antonio Rodotà invite you to a press conference to be held on Monday January, at 11:00 am at the Auditorium of the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, avenue du Bouchot 10, B-1210 Brussels.

For More information:

General information on the 6 th Framework Programme:

Participation to the 6 th Framework Programme and its first call:

Europe-Russia Co-operation in Space:

Delegation of the European Commission in Russia:

DN: IP/03/118 Date: 24/01/2003

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