WIA-E APRE event briefing

WIA-E Rome Local Group & APRE

7th June 2018

Location: Sede APRE Via Cavour, 71 Roma

The Evolution of Italian and European Space Governance

The event focused on the space governance evolution at national and European level trough the women’s voice which are involved in the space sector at different level and with different point of view: from national and European institutions, to space industries, industrial associations, start-ups, university and research institutes.

The event, organized in collaboration whit APRE (Agency for the Promotion of European Research), aimed to highlight the importance of gender equality within EU research programmes and strengthen the relations between industry, institutional and research bodies at national and European Union dimension.

Cristina Valente - WIA-E Rome Local Group Coordinator - and Elena Giglio - APRE opened the event, introducing the WIA-E Rome Local Group and APRE's activities. As part of the worldwide network, WIA-Europe' mission aim to achieve an inclusive representation of women across the European aerospace sector. It acts as an independent network that advocates political commitment in space programs, promotes professional development in aerospace, recognizing women's achievements in the sector and their added value in team and in several ways.  APRE, the Agency for the Promotion of European Research, is a non-profit research organization which provides information, support and assistance for participation in national and European programmes and collaborative initiatives in the field of Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTDI), including Space sector. Special attention was on Gender equality highlighting it as a bullett point of proposal evaluation by EU Commission within EU research programmes.


Cristina Ananasso – Second National Expert at European DG-GROW-Copernicus introduced, on behalf of Apostolia Karamali (Deputy Head of Unit of Space Policy and Research) the proposal for an establishing the space programme of the Union and the European Union Agency for Space, which is currently being evaluated. The increased EU Space budget (which will increase from 11 billion to 16.2 billion during 2021-2027) reflect the awareness of EU space importance. The Commission's proposal will bring all existing and new space activities under the umbrella of a single EU Space Programme, which will be articulated in several specific programmes (Copernicus, EGNOS/GALILEO etc.).

The EU Space programme will be respond to three objectives: ensuring the continuity of funding, face changes and adapting to new reality and guarantee political autonomy. It will meet the need of EU policies and it will allow to maintain EU political and industrial leadership within a moving context in which new players and competitiveness is been increasing. The proposal aims to ensure EU as a global leader in the space domain.  EU Space Programm is based on 4 component (2 Existing systems EGNOS/GALILEO and COPERNICUS, and 2 New systems SSA and GOVSATCOM which will be based on pooling and sharing of existing national infrastructures) and 3 orizontal activities: access  to space, support sturt-up and market evolution including private sector and security dimension.

Cristina Falvella - Head of Strategies and Industrial Policy of ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana – Italian Space Agency) presented the new Italian space governance adopted at the end of 2017 (Law 7/2018) which have gotten stronger the role of ASI within national space governance. The President of ASI is part of Interministerial Committee for the coordination of space policy and research (“The Committee”). The coordination of space and aerospace policies are assigned to the President of the Council of Ministers.


The President of the Council of Ministers identifies the State Secretary with delegation to space and aerospace policies and the Office, which will be responsible to support the activities of “Committee” for the coordination of space policy and research. The “Committee” is been established under Presidency of Council: it will be responsible for defining the government’s strategic guideline of space and aerospace sector and it shall drawing up a strategic vision Document, including financial resources definition. An annual report to houses of parliament shall be made available every year by 30 June. The Committee is chaired by the President of the Council or by State Secretary with delegation to space and aerospace policies, and it is composed of 11 ministries, The President of Conference of regions’ presidents and autonomous provinces, and ASI’s President. The new Italian space governance will be implemented for the first time by the new government.

The Italian Space Industrial Associations, AIAD, AIPAS (Anna Gregorio - Department of Physics - University of Trieste) and ASAS (Lorenzo D’Onghia – Presidente ASAS), explained their support to the role of women in Space.

With regard to space governance evolution, ASAS President, Ing. Lorenzo D’Onghia has underlined the importance to foster the role of Italy towards European institutions, by appropriate skills and representatives. He has been highlighted the importance to establish an enhanced dialogue with European institutions (especially referring to future European Union Agency for Space) in order to strengthen Italian role to defend and represent national needs. He has also reiterated the importance of ASI as reference institution to catalyse national needs within "Committe". At the same time, he expressed that the Italian Space Economy Plan execution may allow real convergence among national, local (Regions) and private investments, also encouraging EU space initiatives as Govsatcom. Special focus was on Copernicus European and National User forum, which aims to aggregate user’s needs, as initiative, which could be replayed for Galileo and Govsatcom. Considering the context evolution, particular attention was on SMEs dimension.

Anna Gregorio - AIPAS and Department of Physics - University of Trieste – introduced AIPAS. Then, special attention was on EU SME instrument (referring to Plank and Euclid Mission experience at University of Trieste ) and SME European connections, for example through SMe4SPACE initiative. Multiannual EU Investment Plan it is been highlighted as an opportunity to support private funds dedicated to space companies, ground-based services and space-segment; at the same time the need to incentive large enterprise to subcontract to SMEs has been recognized. At the end, special attention was on the role of future services and applications development and the need to connect space to earth, supporting spin-offs towards all citizens and in several areas.


Mara Gaulandi – APRE National Contact Point for Science with and for society- H2020- explained how the gender equality is a crosscutting issue to all sectors of European Research Programme H2020 in order to strengthen the women’s role in the research and innovation. It’s been presented an overview on women involved in STEM matters, which still remain less than man with only 2% growth from 2010 to 2016 (from 16% to 18%).Special attention was on the 3 objectives for Gender Equality in H2020:

• Gender balance in decision-taking process
• Gender balance and equal opportunities in project teams at all levels(for example within research groups, project evaluations and consultations). 
• Gender dimension research and innovation content

Currently in the EU women make up just 33% of researchers and gender equality is a bullett point of proposal evaluation by EU Commission in order to further women involvement.

Alessia Rorolo – APRE NCP Support Team for Horizon 2020 Innovation in SMEs – explained EMPOWA project aimed to boost the participation of women entrepreneurs in the Horizon 2020-SME Instrument programme.  It has been also highlighted the need to share and disseminate the Training SME instrument to support a high quality and successful SME Instrument proposals.

Elena Giglio - H2020-National Contact Point in Italy and Enterprise Europe Network manager and Project Manager – introduced Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) which is the world’s largest support network for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with international ambitions helping businesses innovation and growth. EEN aims to support technological transfer at international level providing personalized business services and advises, for example helping your enterprise to found local Network contact point or international partners. It has a global coverage being active in more than 60 countries and is structured in 17 key sectors including “Aeronautics, Space and Dual-Use Technologies". In Italy EEN is structured in Consortia (which include Institutions, Chamberes of Commerce, research bodies ...). EEN provides, through the Network’s international business experts, support to enterprise’s internationalization offering advisory services and innovation support to help turn innovative ideas into international commercial successes.


WIA-E Rome and APRE event aimed to support network between industry, decision makers & users related with the Space sector and support women involvement in the wider range of STEM matters. At the end it has been highlighted the importance to maintain and support the European technological and industrial leadership to exploit space infrastructure and services and meet future Union policy and societal needs. At the same time, it has been recognized the need to support a positive lobby to protect national interests within discussion groups and technical tables at European and international level.

WIA-E Rome Local Group especially want to thank APRE to host the event, availability and support.

Vision: We envision a world where we Europeans collaboratively create an aerospace sector with an inclusive representation.