EuRoC: Ponte de Sor’s sky limits challenged
The 4th edition of the Portugal Air Summit (Ponte de Sor, 21-13 October 2020) will take place with an unprecedented partnership with Portugal Space, to promote the first European competition to launch rockets, happening in parallel with the summit.
Under the central theme “Flying Digital”, the 4th Portugal Air Summit, the largest aeronautical summit in the Iberian Peninsula, takes on a hybrid format, with the in-person speakers and guests, but with digital transmission. In 2020, “Flying Digital” is not only the medium but also the message: the environment in which the summit takes place is simultaneously the opportunity to reach a wider audience, going beyond the limits of the Space it has occupied until now, as well as the perfect motto to frame a future full of challenges for the sectors of Aviation, Space, Defence and Aeronautics, marked by a profound technological shift.
In 2020, the Portuguese Space Agency, Portugal Space, and the City Hall of Ponte de Sor associate themselves in this event to promote in Portugal the EuRoc – European Rocketry Challenge: the first European university competition to launch rockets (21-25 October). Aiming to stimulate students and engineering researchers in the design, construction and launch of the vehicles themselves, EuRoC is based on the legacy of the IREC-Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition initiated in 2006, today known worldwide as Spaceport America Cup.
Thus, the area dedicated to Portugal Air Summit in Ponte de Sor will have new pavilions that will welcome the approximately 120 competitors, distributed over 12 teams, of the competition. “EuRoC is fully aligned with the strategic objectives of Portugal Space, namely because it contributes to the development of a cultural and educational framework capable of boosting the development of the space sector in Portugal”, says Ricardo Conde, president of Portugal Space. “We want to motivate and encourage children and young people to pursue scientific and technological careers because this will be a step towards strengthening national competences in the area of Space. And is there anything more motivating than watching a rocket being launched?”
“The Portugal Air Summit has been growing at all levels, year after year, assuming itself as a space of excellence that brings together the most relevant entities and personalities in the industry to discuss and analyse the potential and future of Aviation, Aeronautics, Space and Defence. The challenge posed by the pandemic led to the development of a differentiated concept, with the creation of a sophisticated digital dynamic. Thus, this year the event will be broadcasted live like a television channel. It fits perfectly into a summit deeply linked to technology and advanced industry. This will be the ideal context to discuss the most pressing issues, at a historical moment of aviation crisis, with guests who are the greatest national and international references”, says Nuno Molarinho, Managing Partner of TheRace, the event’s organising company.
With two auditoriums, dedicated rooms for workshops and meetings, and a lounge area to networking, the Portugal Air Summit will guarantee the live broadcast on its online platform, as well as in an MEO channel of dozens of conferences with leading international and national figures, discussion panels, presentations and workshops.
The summit, which in recent editions has hosted more than 2500 B2B contacts, 10% of which were converted into business, maintains a strong bet on meetings between companies, as this is a way of boosting the sector. “The aeronautical cluster has Ponte de Sor as a national and international reference point and, even in a context of uncertainty, the aerodrome opens new technical courses to support the aeronautical industry. A vision that has allowed the city of Ponte de Sor to become economically dynamic and at the level of employment. In such an unexpected and demanding phase as the one we went through, it is necessary to bet on the economy and analyse solutions so that we can overcome the challenges and boost the economy”, highlights Hugo Pereira Hilário, Mayor of Ponte de Sor. The Portugal Air Summit will be a Covid-19 Safe event, and a conservative plan is being put in place to respect all necessary distance measures during the event, following the practices and recommendations defined by DGS.