Space technology plays a crucial role in our daily lives and in the green and digital transition. For instance, Earth Observation systems, such as Copernicus, not only help mitigate the effects of climate change, but also promote the development of AI image analysis. Meanwhile, numerous EU economic sectors rely on global satellite navigation systems, such as Galileo and EGNOS. As the digitalisation of our societies and economies increases, there is a growing need for secure and resilient global connectivity systems. In today’s digital world, space-based connectivity is a strategic asset for EU resilience. It enables our economic power, digital leadership and technological sovereignty, competitiveness, and societal progress. Secure connectivity has become a public good for European governments and citizens.
Ultra-secure Communication Constellation
In order to ensure that space data and information is more accessible and scalable to all interested entities, whilst providing secure communication services to the EU and beyond, the European Commission is putting forward an ambitious plan for an EU space-based Secure Connectivity System. The EU Secure Connectivity system will provide reliable, cost-effective, and ultra-secure connectivity for governmental and commercial communication. This way, it will better protect various stakeholders (businesses, public authorities, and the general public) against cyber- and hybrid threats.
Reliable Communication Everywhere in the EU
As one can see, these days it is vitally important to have autonomous and reliable communication means. The system will ensure the protection of critical infrastructures such as energy grids or telecommunication networks. It will also be of use for maritime and airspace surveillance, crisis management, and telemedicine. Ultimately, this innovative system will provide digital connectivity everywhere in the EU, the continent of Africa and the Arctic region – a digital Union in practice.
In the words of Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market:
“This constellation will be yours, ours; it will belong to all of us Europeans as it will offer high-speed Internet access to every corner of the European Union. It will put an end to the ‘white zones’ and will allow European citizens, companies and researchers, to take advantage of all the opportunities offered by digital technology and connectivity. (…) Finally, as this is particularly important to me, this constellation will also be a way to bring Europe closer to its neighbours and long-time partners. And above all, the entire African continent.”
Competition to name this new EU space connectivity constellation
With this in mind, and in the context of the European Year of Youth, the European Commission has launched a competition to Name the New EU Space Constellation. The competition, which is held under the patronage of Commissioner Thierry Breton and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, invites students from the EU and African Union countries to propose a name that captures the political ambitions of this new initiative, its objectives, and its technological innovation.
The Competition is open until 31 July 2022!
If you are interested in learning more about the competition, click here.