Space22+: How ESA will put Europe on an upward
path in the new space age

One of the main activities of the Portuguese Space Agency during 2022 is to raise awareness about the ESA Council at Ministerial level,
happening on November, and mobilise the Portuguese space community and stakeholders to take to give their views
on the national involvement of the new programmes.

The European Space Agency (ESA) organizes on November 22 and 23, in Paris, the ESA Council at Ministerial level, a meeting that usually takes place every three years. During this event, ESA Member States Space Ministers gather to discuss and approve new multi-year space programmes and funding, which shall shape most of the main priorities of the space sector in Europe for the coming years.  

This year’s meeting is of particular importance. The European Space sector has been adapting to a new global context, influenced by the fierce international competition, the change of paradigm related to New Space, and the opportunities to address global challenges. Thus, throughout the year, the European space community, driven by ESA and national space agencies, will discuss and contribute to the definition of new ESA priorities and programmes.  

Portugal has played a decisive role in the previous Ministerial meeting, Space19+, which took place in Seville, Spain, having co-chaired the meeting with France. At the time, Portugal committed to a new level of engagement with ESA, where significant subscriptions in ESA optional programmes have brought crucial opportunities to develop the industrial and scientific landscape, as was the case in Copernicus or the Atlantic Satellite Constellation, by Incubed+. More recently, in Matosinhos, Portugal organized and chaired the ESA Intermediate Ministerial Meeting, which has given the mandate to ESA executive to move forward with the strategic guidelines of the Agenda 2025, translated into The Matosinhos Manifesto

As it has been the case since Portugal joined ESA in 2000, this Ministerial meeting in November shall provide another unique opportunity to boost space, nationally and at the European level, to a new stage of ambition and impact, taking the full potential it can offer to citizens and society. The year ahead is thus of paramount importance for space in Portugal, both to consolidate the growth and public awareness of the sector and to launch the seeds for the next period. 

In this context, one of the main activities of the Portuguese Space Agency during 2022 is to raise awareness about the ESA Ministerial meeting and mobilize the Portuguese space community and stakeholders to give their views on the national involvement of the new programmes. Throughout the year, Portugal Space is organizing several activities aligned with ESA preparation of the Ministerial meeting to share information, promote discussion, and seek ideas and priorities.  

The roadmap that will take us to Space22+ in Paris includes national workshops promoted by the Portuguese Space Agency aiming at the national ecosystem, but also meetings that will bring together the Portuguese’s companies, research centres, universities and ESA officials, and finally bilateral meetings between the Portuguese Space Agency and different ecosystem partners. 

Portugal Space will be sharing more detailed information in the coming weeks to call on everyone’s vision to make more space for our future.   

Luís Serina
2 of February, 2022
About the author

Luís Serina holds a degree in aerospace engineering from the Technical University of Lisbon (IST, 2005). He has been working in the Space sector for more than a decade both in industry and public sector. Since 2007 he has been working with the European Space Agency and the European Commission Space programmes as Portuguese representative in several boards and committees. He is Portuguese delegate to ESA Industrial Policy Committee (IPC) and Council. Currently, he holds the position of Industrial Relations and Projects Officer in the Portuguese Space Agency. Until recently, he was learning to play tennis in his non-space free time. But currently, he intends to focus more on improving his cooking abilities. Is known as the best travelling companion, for carrying a bag that always has nuts.