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CEN and CENELEC held a stakeholder workshop on standards for space applications


28 Jun 2019


Science & Policymaking

On Monday 24th June, CEN and CENELEC held a workshop dedicated to exploring how standardization can support the European space industry and reinforce Europe's autonomous access to space.

Space is still seen as one of the last frontiers of humanity. And yet, far from being something remote and unattainable, space is already part of our daily life: from road navigation to geo-marketing, space technology, data and services have become indispensable for all Europeans. For this reason, the EU is currently working on the establishment of a European Space Programme, with the ambition to boost its space leadership beyond 2020.

In order to provide input to the discussion, CEN and CENELEC, two of the official European Standardization Organizations (ESOs), organised the workshop “From space to Earth and back: how standards support space applications for Europe”, which took place in Brussels on 24th June.

The event put together a variety of stakeholders coming from the space industry, technology providers, policy makers, civil society and the standardization community to identify the main challenges in the space sector and how standardization can help overcome them. Discussions revolved around strategic issues, such as the Space Strategy for Europe; the applications from the global navigation satellite system Galileo and EGNOS for road, rail, air and maritime transport; Copernicus for earth observation.

The challenges and benefits of space

The workshop was opened by an introduction by Dany Sturtewagen, CENELEC’s President. He was followed by a series of keynote speeches, which highlighted the future challenges for the European space industry and the benefits of the standardization solutions available for the industry. The speakers came from a variety of backgrounds, thus allowing for a diversity of approaches to the issue: Rodolphe Munoz, Legal Officer at the European Commission’s DG GROW, began by giving an overview on the current European space policy initiatives and on future plans. After him, Britta Schade, Head of Product Assurance and Safety Department at the European Space Agency (ESA) and Chair of CEN and CENELEC JTC 5 ‘Space’ presented the European standardization activities in relation to space. The round of keynote speeches was closed by Pierre Lionnet, Director of Research and Studies at Eurospace, who dealt with the global trends and challenges affecting the European space industry.

The second part of the workshop was dedicated to in-depth discussions on specific topics: participants had the opportunity to exchange their views on the use of space data for different applications, from geo-positioning to security, and on standardization priorities from space. Firstly, the participants shared their views in a brainstorming session; the findings from the break-out sessions were then presented and discussed in panels, with speakers representing different industry areas.

Between the two panels, there was also some space for PwC to present the results of a case study, funded by the European Commission, for intervention on the standardization and certification processes related to the EU space sector.

For more information, all presentations given at the event are available on CEN and CENELEC’s website.

Setting the a roadmap for the future of space standardization

The workshop’s discussions provided a first overview of the main needs and opportunities for standardization in the field of space. In particular, a strong focus was put on downstream applications, i.e. those applications using space data to the benefit of business and society. As Eurospace’s Pierre Lionnet put it, “space provides global solutions for local problems”. Indeed, space data from Galileo can be useful for many aspects of our life, such as mobility, health, safety, and transports and logistics.

In this context, European standardization’s role is to foster innovation, creating links across the space community and reducing barriers to access. Building on a long tradition of engagement with the space industry, the workshop contributed to define the next steps in space standardization, ensuring that the European space industry is successful and efficient.

Dany Sturtewagen, CENELEC’s President, commented: “Increasing the use of space data will open the door to a new wave of innovations and opportunities, for the wellbeing of citizens. Today, CEN and CENELEC initiated this discussion on space applications in Europe to identify the critical challenges and gaps where standardization can provide solutions to support Europe in remaining a global leader in space applications. The input of the workshop will serve as the basis for a future CEN and CENELEC roadmap on European standardization on space.”


CEN (European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) are recognized by the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as European Standardization Organizations responsible for developing standards at European level. These standards set out specifications and procedures in relation to a wide range of materials, processes, products and services.

The members of CEN and CENELEC are the National Standardization Bodies and National Electrotechnical Committees of 34 European countries. European Standards (ENs) and other standardization deliverables adopted by CEN and CENELEC, are accepted and recognized in all of these countries.

European Standards (ENs) contribute to enhancing safety, improving quality, facilitating cross-border trade and strengthening the European Single Market. They are developed through a process of collaboration among experts nominated by business and industry, research institutes, consumer and environmental organizations, trade unions and other stakeholders. CEN and CENELEC work to promote the international alignment of standards in the framework of technical cooperation agreements with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).

CEN website:

CENELEC website:

CEN-CENELEC website:

Media contact:

Giovanni Collot Project Manager Strategy & Governance

CEN-CENELEC Management Centre

T: +32 474 98 21 17


Twitter: @Standards4EU


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