Ricardo Conde appointed interim president of Portugal Space
Ricardo Conde will be the second President of the Portuguese Space Agency, Portugal Space, having been appointed on an interim basis by unanimity of all members in the General Assembly. The GA also decided to open an international competition to select a future president by summer 2021.
Ricardo Conde will be the second President of the Portuguese Space Agency, Portugal Space, having been appointed on an interim basis by unanimous decision of all members in the General Assembly (GA). The GA also decided to open an international competition to select a future president by summer 2021.
The General Assembly of the Portuguese Space Agency appointed Mr Ricardo Conde as interim President of Portugal Space. Mr Ricardo Conde holds a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from IST – Technical University of Lisbon and a postgraduate degree in Space Technologies. He has been connected to the aeronautical and space sector since 1993 and has participated in several national and international programmes in this area, particularly in Space and Ground segments. He was responsible for the development of the Ground Segment business of Edisoft, SA (Thales Group) and has been a member of the board of the Portuguese Space Agency since 2019.
Mr Ricardo Conde was appointed after Ms Chiara Manfletti, the first president of Portugal Space resigned and, at the request of the European Space Agency (ESA), anticipated the return to the European Space Agency (ESA). Chiara Manfletti thus ended the secondment which linked her to Portugal Space since March 2019, under the agreement between Portugal and ESA.
The new President of the Portuguese Space Agency intends “to reinforce the guidelines set out in the national strategy Portugal Space 2030”. “Within the next decade, we will promote the creation of a thousand qualified jobs in the Space sector in Portugal, together with the multiplication of the current turnover of the space sector by at least ten times, to reach around 500 million euros in 2030”, he said.
“The work we did over the last 18 months allowed Portugal to advance with new concrete projects integrated into four major challenges, including i) the development of a microsatellite constellation oriented to Earth Observation (i.e. “Atlantic Constellation”), which will be launched in close collaboration with the Atlantic International Research Centre, AIR Centre, in an international context and should be operational from 2025; ii) the development and operation of an Earth Observation platform that will integrate multiple data sources (i.e., “Digital Planet”); iii) the creation of a 5G communications ecosystem for the development and exploitation of the Atlantic and the outermost regions of Portugal; and iv) the Azores International Satellite Launch Programme (i.e., “Azores ISLP”), including the construction and promotion of a spaceport on the Azorean island of Santa Maria”, adds Mr Ricardo Conde.
The Agency’s board of directors maintains the remaining composition: besides Ricardo Conde, Luís Santos is vice-president, and Hugo André Costa is a board member.
The terms of the vacancy for the post of Portugal Space President will be published in the coming days on the official Portugal Space website, and applications may be submitted until the end of January 2021.
The future President of the Portuguese Space Agency should be able to work in complex institutional environments in Portugal and internationally. He/She must have proven international experience, and strategic vision is required, as well as skills in budget management and fundraising, and the ability to perform the function according to the principles and objectives defined in the Portugal Space 2030 strategy.