Despite the fact that the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme's (FP7) aeronautical studies started in January, FP7-funded space research is not expected to begin until after April 2008, while the start of Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme-related work will be three months after that.

According to the European Commission, the delay between submission and starting research is due to contractual processes between the EU, industrial and academic partners and ESA. The EC says: "Contracts for space research projects are expected to be signed at least six months from now - probably nine months for the large GMES projects."

The research is to develop technologies for space transport, in-orbit telescopes, satellite observation, GMES services, biomedicine and the life and physical sciences, and encourage European Space Agency and inter-EU member state national space agency collaboration.

Part of FP7's security and space theme, space research has been allocated €34 million ($48.5 million) for its first call for projects, the submission deadline for which was in June.

Work on GMES is developing an agreed system of governance that avoids the pitfalls of the troubled Galileo satellite navigation project (Flight International, 12-19 June).

Source: Flight International