Space innovations facilitate daily life and support climate action

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 5.12.2019 14.05 | Published in English on 5.12.2019 at 16.13
Press release

The European Space Week held in Helsinki on 3–5 December focused on the key themes of Finland’s Presidency of the EU Council: space solutions as contributors to climate action, new space economy for sustainable growth, sustainable space economy, and space solutions for a sustainable Arctic.

The event brought together more than 700 representatives of companies, research organisations and space administration to discuss the European space policy.

“Last week the EU Competitiveness Council adopted the Council conclusions prepared under Finland’s leadership on the significance of space solutions for the Arctic, so the timing of Space Week could not have been better,” said Maija Lönnqvist, Chief Specialist at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

The aim of the European Space Week was to raise awareness of the opportunities offered by European space programmes among businesses, research organisations, decision-makers and the general public. The highlight of the event was the seminar on the European space policy and strategy, which included four panel discussions on the themes of Finland’s Presidency: 

  1. How space solutions can support climate action
  2. New space economy for sustainable growth
  3. Sustainable space economy
  4. Space solutions for a sustainable Arctic

In her opening speech, former President Tarja Halonen emphasised the importance of space solutions for sustainable development and for the daily lives of us all.

“Space technologies provide solutions for a wide range of purposes from climate change monitoring to novel development solutions such as tele-education and telemedicine for sparsely populated areas,” President Halonen noted.

President Halonen also stressed the importance of adherence to international rules in a sustainable space economy. One of the panels addressed this theme, which is an important one for Finland.

“The sustainable use of space is everyone’s concern; we must make sure we are and will be able to safeguard society’s critical services,” says Jenni Tapio, Chief Specialist at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, summarising the panel’s conclusions.

The European Space Week ended with the closing remarks given by Petri Peltonen, Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

 “Cooperation in the space sector is of paramount importance to ensuring Europe’s competitiveness,” undersecretary Peltonen emphasised. “This event clearly showed how wide-ranging the knowledge and expertise of this sector is in Europe,” he continued.

The exhibitions seen and speeches made during European Space Week strongly highlighted Finnish space expertise.

“Finland is recognised for its agility and competence in the rapidly growing space business. The objective of our national space strategy is to make Finland the world’s most attractive and agile space business environment by 2025. Achieving this goal requires tapping into the opportunities available in Europe,” explains Kimmo Kanto, Head of Space, Business Finland.

“With efficient use of space data, we will be able to develop new services and applications across all sectors of society. We will also gain access to information that is vital for our climate action and decision-making,” says Päivi Antikainen, Director of Unit, Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The European Commission, in collaboration with Finnish partners, organised the European Space Week as part of the programme for Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Maija Lönnqvist, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 331 3791
Jenni Tapio, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 562 9135
Kimmo Kanto, Head of Space, Business Finland, tel. +358 50 557 7852
Päivi Antikainen, Director of Unit, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 50 382 7101