Spanish space project boosting the industry

PEDRO DUQUE (pictured centre), the Government’s Minister for Science, Innovation and Universities, has presided over the presentation of a framework contract, signed by Spanish technology firm GMV with the European Space Agency (ESA), on behalf of the European Commission.

The contract relates to the maintenance and evolution of the Galileo Ground Control Segment, as well as the European global navigation satellite system and the EU’s genuine flagship of the growing activity in space.

The contract, worth up to 250m euros, includes a definitive Work Order for the sum of around 150m euros.

The GMV leads an industrial team, comprising various European companies, in which the Spanish industry plays an essential role.

It is not known generally, but Spanish companies in the space sector have been increasing their technological capabilities for the last 20 years.

They have doubled their global turnover in the last decade (851m euros in 2017), climbing to fifth place in the European ranking, based on turnover. And the sector now employs more than 3,500 highly-qualified people.

The presentation was attended by María José Rallo, Secretary-General for Transport from the Ministry of Public Works, who represents Spain on the EU Committee on Satellite Navigation Programmes; Paul Verhoef, ESA Director of Navigation; Javier Ponce, the European Commission adviser on navigation activities; Augusto González, CEO of the Centre for Industrial and Technological Development (CDTI), and also GMV chief Jesús B. Serrano.

The contract signed by GMV puts the company in charge of monitoring the EU’s Galileo satellite constellation, as well as all the necessary equipment: the control centre, the orbital dynamic system, mission planning, operations support, the simulation tools, key management, network security, the monitoring stations, telemetry, tracking, as well as the connecting network between them all.

Galileo is the EU programme for the development of navigation services, based on a constellation of 30 satellites, and their associated surface control and operation installations.

The ESA, under instruction from the EU, is responsible for contracting the main elements of the Galileo system.

This growth by the Spanish space sector has been strongly linked to the country’s involvement in the ESA.

Spain is providing 202m euros of the 3.78bn euro budget for the international body this year, which enables its companies to bid on high-added-value, industrial contracts.

In the last 20 years, they have produced an average industrial return, which has exceeded the contribution made by the country.

Spain currently holds the ministerial presidency of the ESA Council, allowing its relevant companies to play a central role in the European space strategy. And it will contribute more than 1.5bn euros during the 2016-2024 period.

The CDTI, a body managed by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, represents Spain at the ESA, as well as on various, space-related EU committees.

This centre is playing an active role in supporting Spanish technology companies, especially with its encouragement for their international growth.



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