ADVICE 2: Flanders' Space
A strategy for the Flemish Space Industry
The second VARIO advice ‘Flanders’ Space: a strategy for the Flemish Space Industry' is the answer to the request of Flemish Minister Philippe Muyters to develop a long-term strategy for ‘space’ in Flanders. The starting point for VARIO is that the space economy, as also defined by the OECD, goes well beyond the space sector itself and comprises all the possible impacts of space products, services and knowledge, on the global economy and society.
In this advisory report (Part I), VARIO formulates six recommendations and proposes a number of concrete actions:
• VARIO recommends that a triple helix Taskforce ‘Space Economy' is established in order to (further) develop an integrated and coordinated strategy for the Flemish space economy. The Taskforce must also ensure that the strategy is translated into a concrete action plan and that the recommendations are effectively implemented.
• VARIO is not in favour of setting up specific new structures and/or instruments for this purpose however, but recommends to seek for opportunities within the existing structures and instruments.
• VARIO sees cooperation - both between space actors and between space actors and ‘earth’ industry – as an opportunity that needs to be promoted. In view of the positive results from foreign space cluster initiatives, a similar Flemish cooperative model, in which both industry and knowledge institutes (academia, research centres, …) are present, comes highly recommended.
• Reinforcement of the existing portfolio of policy instruments thanks to a better/more/directed use of (services based on) space data, the Flemish government could tackle policy issues better, and at the same time function as an 'early adopter' and 'enabler'.
• Focus more on the application of space technology and knowledge (valorisation, technology transfer) on earth by ensuring that knowledge and technologies developed within the space context are actually valorised and anchored in Flanders (Belgium).
• The Flemish Government demonstrates its commitment to a Flemish space economy by providing the necessary political and diplomatic support.
In formulating his advice, VARIO used the background report (Part II), which is the result of a research project supervised by the working group on space.