Earlier this month Flemish Minister of Work, Innovation and Science Policy Hilde Crevits launched the Flemish Space Economy program. For the next 5 years, €11 million is provided.
With this program, Minister Crevits wants to expand the knowledge of space in Flanders, stimulate entrepreneurship and strengthen our international position. With the new Frank De Winne Research Grants, Minister Crevits also wants to attract young talent to the Flemish space program.
"The space sector appeals to the imagination. It is a high-tech sector that often produces groundbreaking research. It is an engine for innovation and economic growth. Moreover, space and its applications are woven into our daily lives. Without us realizing it, space technology and data have become indispensable: think of weather forecasts, the GPS, or telecommunications. But space technology is also indispensable for tackling future major challenges such as climate change and mobility. With this impulse program, I want to give the sector in Flanders opportunities to fully play its role as innovator and talent recruiter." said the Minister.
The investments fit within the impulse program 'Flemish Space Economy' that focuses on talent, competitiveness, international cooperation, and the stimulation of interest in space among the general population. The current program also came about with the support of the Flemish Advisory Council for Innovation and Enterprise (VARIO), which recently published ‘Flanders Space’, a strategy for the Flemish space economy.
The planned resources - more than €11 million for the period 2021-2026 – will give the Flemish space economy the support it needs to leverage economic and social growth in Flanders.
With the 20 'Frank De Winne Research Grants', Minister Crevits wants to offer young talent the chance to build a sustainable career in the Flemish space industry. The impulse program includes 2 types of research grants:
‘Frank De Winne Aspirant’, which allows young researchers to obtain a doctorate focused on research applications in the space industry;
‘Frank De Winne Postdoc', which aims to motivate researchers after their studies to independently investigate innovation opportunities in support of the space industry.
Read more about the Flemish Space Economy here (in Dutch only)