The new agency tasked with making ‘EU space ambitions a reality’

13 May 2021

Image: EUSPA

EUSPA, the newly launched successor to the GSA, will support the implementation of EU priorities such as the Green Deal and digital transition.

A new space agency launched in Europe this week. Called the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), it is the successor to the European GNSS Agency (GSA), which was established in 2004.

EUSPA presents the first-ever integrated EU space programme and, according to officials, will create even more opportunities for EU citizens and the economy and help develop the EU’s role in space.

It comes after European leaders signed off on a “ambitious” new €14.8bn EU space programme, which focuses on security, connectivity and entrepreneurship.

EUSPA will take on a number of responsibilities. It will manage the operations and service provision of satellite programmes Galileo and EGNOS, look after the security accreditation of all components of the EU space programme, develop downstream markets for Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus, and leverage funding mechanisms for EU member states.

It will also coordinate the EU’s forthcoming governmental satellite communications programme, GOVSATCOM, and support the implementation of EU priorities such as the Green Deal and digital transition.

This list of duties may grow in the future at the discretion of the European Commission.

EUSPA executive director, Rodrigo da Costa, was elected to the same position at the GSA last October after joining the agency as Galileo services programme manager in 2017.

Speaking about the launch of EUSPA, he said: “More and more, our economies, our society and our safety depend on space.

“Europe has incredible opportunities ahead that cannot be missed. By creating EUSPA, the EU will further increase the return on investment made by the EU citizen in the EU space programme by strengthening its contribution to the EU’s priorities.

“This will be achieved primarily by leveraging synergies between the various programme components, particularly navigation, Earth observation and secure communications, to drive innovation across a broad range of sectors. EUSPA will play a key role to implement the EU space programme and turn the EU space ambitions into a reality.”

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021