Earlier this month the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) held its second Global Conference on Space for Emerging Countries, in Quito, Ecuador. This conference series is dedicated to the inclusion of all countries of the world in the global space ecosystem. For a country like Ecuador, which does not have a formal space representation in government and no commercial space sector of any significance, hosting a conference of this calibre was a major step into this inclusion.
Read more about the start and objectives of the GLEC2022 conference here.
Space Industry Development
The final day of the Global Conference on Space for Emerging Countries – GLEC 2022 continued to discuss and highlight important aspects connected to the establishment and consolidation of the space sector in emerging countries. The first Session of the day focused on Space Industry Development and Support since the space industry and the private sector institutions are playing an increasing role in the space ecosystem.
When the ISS retires, new commercial space stations will be created by private companies, because the commercialization of space is really the key factor that is going to drive the development of spaceJohn Roth, VP Business Development, Sierra Space
Space in Education
The debate at GLEC 2022 focused on Space in Schools & the Role of Academia, as “in the very near future, the space sector will need tens of thousands of new young professionals in order to achieve everything we are planning, however there is a significant shortage in the STEM workforce that schools and academia need to address” warned IAF President, Pascale Ehrenfreund.
Space Technology for Emerging Countries
The conversation continued on Space Technology for Emerging Countries, organized by the IAF Committee on Liaison with International Organizations and Developing Nations – CLIODN where Pieter van Beekhuizen, Treasurer, Stichting Space Professionals Foundation (SSPF), and Vice Chair of IAF CLIODN, explained that “space technology can make an immense contribution to solving the problems of developing nations, in particular through the use of satellites in the fields of communications, remote sensing, and disaster management”. Followed by the last plenary on the benefits of a space ecosystem approach.
A global space environment is a collection of integrated systems and stakeholders that must be managed and balanced to ensure sustainability. The health and durability of this ecosystem depends on education, information, and collaboration”Alejandro Roman Molinas, General Director of Aerospace Development, Paraguayan Space Agency
Latin American Culture in Space
The final IAF GNF session targeted the Latin American Culture in Space. The moderator Bernard Foing, Executive Director, International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG), and Chair IAF ITACCUS Committee described culture as “a unique human invention to increase our ability to facilitate daily living because it provides a useful tool for understanding human behaviour and its relationship to a particular environment”. In Guatemala for instance space culture dates back to the times of the Mayans, whose lives evolved around astronomy.
GLEC 2022 participation
To conclude the conference, IAF Executive Director, Christian Feichtinger, during the closing ceremony announced that the first ever IAF Global Conference in Ecuador attracted 260 participants, half of which are young professionals and students below 35 years of age, coming from 43 countries.
EU Global Action on Space
An important contributor to the inclusion of emerging countries in the space ecosystem is the EU Global Action on Space.
The EU Global Action on Space aims to promote the EU Space Programme globally, and encourage international collaboration using space-based data and services in a broad range of domains. The programme showcases the diverse benefits that Copernicus, EGNOS and Galileo can offer beyond the EU, via a series of targeted thematic events in the different global target regions demonstrating the potential added-value there offered by the programme and its components.
Additionally, the programme provides a range of partnership resources enabling EU and non-EU companies and organisations to work together within and beyond the space domain, to extend and enhance the application of the space programme for society’s further benefit.
In February 2022 the EU Global Action on Space issued a market report on the space ecosystem in Central and South America, which you can read here.
Also make sure to see the Open Calls for projects between the EU and the rest of the world.
GLOC 2023: Global Space Conference on Climate Change
At the closing of GLEC 2022, the Director General of the Norwegian Space Agency (NOSA), Christian Hauglie Hanssen, invited everyone to the very first IAF Global Space Conference on Climate Change – GLOC 2023 taking place in Oslo, Norway from 23-25 May 2023.