Dear friends of ESPI,
The year 2018 is reaching its end and I believe that the least we can say is that it has been quite a busy year for our Institute!
The first point I would like to highlight is the new record high achieved this year regarding the number of publications. Those include books published in collaboration with Springer, ESPI Public Reports or Executive Briefs made available for download from our website, presentations and papers supporting participation in various sectorial conferences, or articles for specialized reviews.
We are happy and proud to stress here the high degree of interest raised in the global Space community by some of them and most prominently the fresh look on Russia’s posture in Space, the analysis of The Rise of the private actors in the Space Sector, our assessment of Business and Policy Perspectives on Micro-Launchers, the synthesis we made of National Space Legislation, and last but not least, the extensive perspective we elaborated on India in Space: Between Utility and Geopolitics.
ESPI also contributed to stimulate the reflection on a number of selected topics through editorial works gathering various contributions from a broad swath of researchers worldwide, as well as through the setting of international contests in collaboration with SGAC. The topics addressed vary from Space resource utilization or the Role of Space in the Post-2030 Agenda, to proposing A Fresh View on the Outer Space Treaty. We were positively impressed by the intensity of the exchanges that these activities generated on our website.
As traditionally, we paid our best efforts to make ESPI a lively forum for discussing various space policy related topics through the organisation of events. 2018 has been highly active in this respect due to the conjunction of the celebration of 50th anniversary of the UNISPACE treaty and of the Austrian Presidency of the European Union during the second semester.
The topics addressed have been quite diverse, embracing Space diplomacy at large with an evening event on the Prospects for the International Space Cooperation with China, a one-day workshop on the Synergies for Space Capacity Building in the XXI Century, a round table on Europe-India Space Cooperation and an event organized in collaboration with APRSAF on Inter-Regional Space Policy Dialogue between Asia-Pacific and Europe.
On a more technical note, we also hosted a very exciting discussion on the perspectives of On-Orbit Operations, to be followed-up in 2019 by a dedicated study.
But most importantly, ESPI devoted major efforts this year to address the issue of Outer Space Security, that we made the theme of our particularly successful Autumn Conference for which we completed a dedicated study on the Rising Stakes for Europe in these matters.
ESPI was also happy and proud to support the Austrian Presidency of the EU in the organization of the event they jointly held with the European Commission in November in Graz, which gathered many high-level speakers from European and U.S. institutions or industry, and was attended by more than 250 participants. Entitled EU Space for Business, it addressed various issues related to the recent development and perspectives of the European Space Economy in a global context. A specific focus was made on economic security issues. ESPI provided on this occasion a dedicated report on Security in Outer Space: Transatlantic Relations.
Some more studies have been duly completed and will be published in early 2019 on Status and Prospects of Space weather services in Europe, the Evolution of the Role of Space Agencies, the Stakes and Means of a Space Power, the Potential Contribution of Commercial Actors to Space Exploration, Space in Support of African Societies, as well as the outcome of a recent survey on Entrepreneurship and private investment in the European space sector.
We intend to keep on our efforts next year, and we are now getting prepared to tackle our 2019 workplan. As previously mentioned, it will include some continuity on Business and Policy Perspectives for In-Orbit Servicing as well as on Space security with one study on the stakes and challenges for European Space Traffic Management and another one on European Space Defence Policy.
But our specific focus in 2019 will be on international relations and Space Diplomacy, which will be the theme of out next Autumn Conference. Many activities will pertain this endeavour, including a study on the European Space Strategy in a Global Context. Along the same line, we will pursue our study on Space and Africa and we will also address the Legal and Policy Implementation of Space in Latin American Countries as well as the Perspectives on European Cooperation with Asian Countries. Finally, we plan to perform a research on Space in Support of Human Rights.
Since our website traffic statistics shows that the series of ESPI Executive Briefs that we initiated in 2018 is raising a lot of interest in the broader space community, I am also happy to confirm that we will continue to propose some more to you in 2019 on a monthly basis.
Last but not least, we will come up in 2019 with a new formula for ESPI annual publications, including a revisited version of ESPI Yearbook and Space Policy Issues and Trends brochure.
As you can see, ESPI intends to contribute its share to make 2019 a great Space year!
On a more personal note, I would like to convey to you all my best wishes of success in your personal and professional endeavours in this upcoming New Year.
I look forward to furthering our collaboration with you in 2019 and I will always be happy to welcome you in our premises on the occasion of one or another of our events… or just for a coffee!
In the meantime, I remain,
Director of ESPI