Research and technological development policies are instrumental tools that serve the main objectives of strengthening the scientific and technological basis of European industry, and supporting its competitiveness at international level. While the European space industry has certainly succeeded in establishing a highly performing and competitive offer against a global competition, it has now to face an evolving situation in which newcomers like China are improving at a fast pace their level of technological performance while some U.S. companies are decidedly developing cheaper commercial offers. In light of this increasingly competitive landscape, this ESPI Briefs reflects on the role and shape of RTD policies, and of the priorities of institutional support programmes in the European context, in order to continue fulfilling their strategic objectives.

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