Safeguarding the future of the German space industry: the federal government's space strategy
Today the German federal cabinet adopted the federal government's space strategy, which was submitted by the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology.
Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Rainer Brüderle said: "The federal government's new strategy underlines the great significance of space technology as a key technology for the future of our country. Space technologies should help us meet key challenges in the fields of climate protection, mobility, communications and safety. I believe that it is very important that we keep one thing in mind: space operations must serve the needs of the Earth and society. My motto in this area is: 'Into space for the benefit of humankind'. Space operations must primarily result in specific benefits for humankind. This also means that space technology must compete with other technologies. Given the high spending, it is judged in terms of its benefits for science and society. In this context, basic research plays an essential role. It lays the foundation for future application-oriented research."
The federal government's space strategy to safeguard the future of the German space industry is the basis of space policy for future German activities. According to the strategy, the guidelines are a focus on benefits and needs, the principle of sustainability and close European and international co-operation.
The strategy sets specific policy priorities. These include creating a uniform legal framework, expanding space research, tapping new markets, promoting stronger links between various stakeholders in European space operations, safeguarding technological independence and ensuring access to space.
Minister Brüderle underlined: "The space sector is a dynamic field of business. It offers many opportunities for German companies - especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. Space-based infrastructures open up new markets for applications and services that generate attractive jobs and major growth potential. In the last few years, Germany has been able to attain leading positions in various fields of space technology. With the new strategy we aim to strengthen and further develop our positions."
Tomorrow, on 1 December 2010, an opening event on the space strategy will take place in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Federal Minister Brüderle and Peter Hintze, Parliamentary State Secretary and German Government Coordinator of Aerospace Policy, will discuss objectives of space policy and the potential of space technologies with a wide audience of specialists from science, business and government. The Federal Ministry of Defence and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs will also be represented at senior level with State Secretaries Kossendey and Bomba. Statements by the European Commission and the European Space Agency ESA will look at the German space policy in the international context. Besides, there will be reports from users of space technology applications and research findings in the fields of medicine, earth observation, robotics and solar energy. Furthermore, a panel will deal with the question of promoting young talent. In addition, selected space exhibits of current projects and missions will be presented at the event.