Italian space initiative receives €30 million in EU funding
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    Italian space initiative receives €30 million in EU funding

    Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    Italy’s initiative for space investments, ‘Primo Space’, has received €30 million from the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe and the InnovFin Space-initiative. The investment is part of a common European investment fund for the space sector, with a budget of €200 million for 2020.

    The venture will work closely with the Italian Space Agency to “bring the most promising technologies and entrepreneurial teams to the market”. Projects will focus on developing robots, satellites, space infrastructure, earth observation, geolocation, and space communication technology.

    “The Space Economy is a sector of primary importance in Italy, with a turnaround of 2 billion Euros and with over 7,000 employees throughout the supply chain,” the CEO of the Italian National Innovation Fund, Enrico Resmini, said.

    The European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, added that he is “particularly pleased that the EU is providing financial backing for this ground-breaking fund, joining forces with the Italian Space Agency, opening the way to new investment and job creation in this fast-growing sector.”

    In July, both the United Arab Emirates and China launched their first space missions to Mars.

    On the 30 July, NASA is set to launch a Mars mission that will drop an exploratory Rover-robot on Mars, to “seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth”.

    The European Space Agency currently has no space missions for Mars scheduled.

    Amée Zoutberg
    The Brussels Times