XX. EISC Conference – BELGIUM 2018

Message from the EISC 2018 Co-Chairs Ms. Christie Morreale and Mr. Yves Evrard
Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Since January 1st, 2018, the Belgian Senate is holding the annual rotating chairmanship of the European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC), thus taking over from the Estonian chairmanship.

Experts say 2018 will be the year space tourism takes off. But while great leaps are being made at what seems like warp speed, it is a venture that is still fraught with issues that go far beyond its out-of-this-world price tag… However, this is not the theme we have chosen for our chairmanship.

The theme we have decided upon for the Belgian chairmanship derives directly from our Estonian predecessor. In the resolution we adopted in Tallinn on November 7th, 2017, it is clearly stated that entrepreneurs from different sectors are seeing new opportunities in space but also on Earth, supported by space use, including development related to cyberspace. This development has very promising potential, but also its risks, as the changing activities and new actors highlight deficiencies in the legal framework for space, as private enterprise necessitates legal certainty and a clear legal framework.

During our chairmanship, we will organise a workshop on 14th and 15th May 2018 on “Big data from space: Development of value-added downstream services and applications” and a main conference in autumn (October/November).

Big Data from space refers to the massive spatio-temporal Earth and space observation data collected by a variety of sensors ranging from ground based to space-borne and the synergetic use of data coming from other sources and communities. This domain is currently facing sharp development with numerous new initiatives and breakthroughs ranging from intelligent sensors to data science. These developments are empowering new approaches and applications in various and diverse domains influencing life on Earth, from sensing cities, monitoring human settlements and urban areas to climate change and security.

The workshop will take place on May 14th, 2018 in Redu, both in the ESA station and in the Euro Space Center. On the programme will be, amongst others, a tour of the facilities and presentations by key note speakers on cyber security and legislation. On the second day, May 15th, 2018, we will go to Leuven (Flanders) to visit a company active in space applications.

The main conference will be organised in October/November 2018. During the workshop in Redu, we would like to establish a working group on cyber security and legislation to take stock of the situation in the various countries and the potential evolution. The conclusions of this working group will then be presented during the main conference in autumn.

We are very thrilled about this chairmanship and we are looking forward to welcoming you in Belgium in spring and autumn 2018!

Christie Morreale and Yves Evrard
Co-chairs of the XX EISC

XX EISC Plenary Session on 15-16 October 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

XX EISC Workshop on 14-15 May 2018 in Redu and Leuven, Belgium