Europe’s space industry is urging European Union and European Space Agency governments to increase research and technology (R&T) spending in 2006 by €140 million ($168 million), a rise of about 30% over this year.

Industry believes a further increase of €180 million in 2007 and another €210 million in 2008 is needed to counter increased spending on space research by non-European governments. Total EU and ESA spending on space R&T will be over €530 million this year and the industry wants further increases to avoid diminishing competitiveness.

The 30% figure was made public at the Future of Space Research and Technology in Europe conference in Paris on 24-25 October. “This is the first time we have released these figures. Now it’s a convergence process [between what industry wants and the EU member states can provide],” says Serge Flamenbaum, co-chair of trade body ASD-Eurospace’s research and technology panel.

The figure comes from an ASD-Eurospace study undertaken with the help of 140 technical experts from 90 member companies including EADS Space and Alcatel Alenia Space. While EU countries spend less than 1% of their combined gross national product on-space related research, the USA spends 2.5% and Japan 1.8%, the group says.

Source: Flight International