Project name:

RegioSpace - Space Capabilities for the Romanian Nexus of Three Regional Cooperation Initiatives

Coordinator: Romanian Association for Space Technology and Industry (ROMSPACE)

Financed under the Romanian Space Technology and Advanced Research Programme

Duration: 2017-2018

REGIO-SPACE is a strategic project that analyses the potential for space capabilities to contribute to the stated objectives and philosophies of three important regional initiatives – the Danube Strategy, the 16+1 Partnership between China and its Eastern European partners and the Belt & Road. These initiatives have Romania and the wider Eastern European-Danube region in common. The project analyzes documents of reference, makes proposals and disseminates to a wide assortment of stakeholders.

Regional cooperation initiatives are a powerful way of collectively addressing common concerns and needs. They have grown in frequency and seriousness, both with the example of past successes, and with the realization on the part of more countries that such projects are necessary tools for peaceful development. Romania stands at the nexus of three significant regional initiatives – the Danube Strategy, the 16+1 Partnership between China and Eastern European countries and the Belt&Road Project. The overlapping of these initiatives, in terms of countries involved and issues addressed, whether economic or security focused, presents significant opportunities, including for the pursuit of national interest and prestige, but especially for contributing, from another angle, to the ESA’s efforts at promoting the peaceful use of space capabilities to address human needs.

Space systems have become critical enables for a wide range of applications, from command, control and coordination of economic and security activities, to navigation and data collection. The heterogeneity of the use of space systems within the countries of all of these initiatives attests not just to the differences in levels of development and sophistication, but also highlights an important opportunity. Part of the project also revolves around identifying the space infrastructures needed to ensure capacity for the provision of a certain service, deemed important or even critical. There is an uneven spread of the use of space capabilities, with areas under the economic pressure of competition, such as industry and transport, making bigger strides in adopting new instruments. Others, such as environmental protection, and civilian and crisis management, are just now waking up to the possibilities. At the same time, only a limited number of potential space services have current applicability within the region, due to a lack of critical infrastructure, as well as to a lack of new functionalities for space systems.
All of these regional initiatives pursue and ever widening number of objectives, each of which could be addressed (or alleviated) with the use of space systems. In this way, regional cooperation becomes the means for identifying opportunities for the advancement of the use of space systems, disseminating experience and best practices, and fostering new international relationships between people, businesses, authorities and other institutions.
The REGIO-SPACE project aims to generate the backbone for such efforts, by analyzing the documents of reference for these initiatives and other materials, identifying opportunities for objectives to be addressed through space capabilities and disseminating such information in official venues and through publications while developing strategic insight into the promotion of the adoption of space system use in pursuit also of collective interests.