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European Space Agency pushes investments out of this world

The European Space Agency (ESA) has joined with Viasat to launch the High Capacity Satellite Applications Factory Initiative. This pilot initiative will last three years and aims to boost Europe’s share of a global space industry predicted to be worth over €500bn by 2030.

The scheme will focus on applications and technology deliverable by satellite and aims to cut short the time taken by universities and other bodies when looking for funding to develop industrial projects. There will also be an online portal for participants, called “Space Hub”, to encourage collaboration.

The UK, Switzerland and Belgium have agreed to provide €30m in funding. Magali Vaissiere, ESA director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications commented in a statement: “Through ARTES Competitiveness and Growth (C&G), ESA provides broad support for the development and validation of technologies, products, applications and services to maintain and further improve the competitive position of industry of ESA Member States in the global market of satellite telecommunications. The ViaSat Applications Factory initiative is a clear example of how the ARTES Competitiveness & Growth programme can provide effective support to successfully develop products and applications. This initiative will help the ESA Member States and Industry to team up with ViaSat and to quickly integrate and demonstrate their products in the High Capacity Satellite ecosystem of ViaSat as well as across the wider Satcom market.”