The European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission (EC) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) agreed on a list of actions for strategic non-dependence in the area of critical space technologies. The list was elaborated in a joint task force together with the relevant Member States organisations, industry and academia and contains 39 non-dependence actions in technology domains such as materials, electronic or photonic components, green propellants or complex structures.
© ESA / European Commission
One of the key objectives of the European Space Policy is to ensure non-dependence on critical technologies. This requires significant efforts in a large array of domains such as skills, sustainable European industrial capabilities, appropriate public policies and regulations as well as forward-looking research and technology.
Europe’s ability to get access to key enabling technologies is crucial to both space and defence capabilities. Considering the similarities between the defence and space domains, since 2009, ESA, EC and EDA have run the European non-dependence process through a joint task force for critical technologies. Its objective is to map key technology needs and to identify priority actions to be implemented within European or national programmes.
On 13 February 2015, the 3rd European non-dependence process results were presented to Member States and industry. The final list of urgent actions for the time frame 2015-2017 was finalised on 18 March 2015.
From October 2014 to February 2015 the joint task force together with the relevant Member States organisations, industry and academia conducted a consultation process to find consensus on the most urgent research actions. The current action list contains 39 non-dependence actions in technology domains such as materials, electronic or photonic components, green propellants or complex structures. It promotes synergies between ESA, EC and EDA activities and serves as input for the upcoming H2020 Space workplan.
This succesful joint process illustrates the commitment of both Member States and European institutional actors in securing those key technologies that reinforce Europe’s supply chain and thus its strategic independence and security.