The IAF President, Pascale Ehrenfreund, attended the 14thEuropean Space Conference at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. The conference theme was ‘A New Era for European Space: Turning Vision into Action’.

Belgium Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, gave a special address during the closing remarks of the conference reminding everyone that “space is hugely inspirational”. During her closing keynote, Ehrenfreund replied that “space applications are also an integral part of our daily lives, and the space sector is increasingly integrated with other economic sectors. There are numerous new business opportunities for innovators and companies to pursue that will support the European Green deal, international climate agreements and consequently benefit citizens on Earth.”

Boosting “European Space Entrepreneurship” has been an important topic of discussion at the 14th European Space Conference and the IAF President, recommended that “we need to offer young innovators enough support to speed up radical innovations and encourage Venture Capital firms and Angel Investors to recognize the great potential and impact the space sector has for many other economies”. For instance, the large future potential of Earth Observation, as Pascale Ehrenfreund pointed out “space services and applications are an important backbone for sustainable development and space monitoring will be essential for the fight against climate change by helping companies evaluate the carbon footprint of their supply chains and providing the data to support environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores.”

IAF President, Pascale Ehrenfreund, concluded the first day of the conference by emphasizing the role of the International Astronautical Federation in connecting the entire space community, overcoming political and geographical boundaries and focusing on common goals and endeavors. Ehrenfreund noted that “geopolitical rivalries are posing risks to the space environment, including the accumulation of space debris. We must work together to address the issue of Space Traffic Management and encourage responsible and sustainable activities in outer space. In a time when humanity is faced with many global challenges, from climate change, the COVID pandemic, to poverty and security threats, it is crucial that we prioritize global collaboration and peace both on Earth and in outer space. We need effective international cooperation, multi-stakeholder partnerships and the support of society to respond to our future challenges on Earth”.