Space and Photonics technology for market and societal challenges (STEPHANIE)

STEPHANIE is an Interreg Europe project involving eight partners from seven European Countries Spain, Germany, Belgium, UK, France and Czech Republic.

Space technologies based on photonics are considered as one of Europe’s areas of key industrial competence. It is perceived that such technology has the potential to address a number of today’s grand societal challenges, in particular health and wellbeing, climate action and secure societies. However, there is currently a gap between space research and its application on the ground. A long-term challenge is to ensure that research and development investments exploit the opportunities offered by space (e.g. huge availability of data and signals) by ensuring that applications and services are produced to address societal challenges and that they reach the market.

Partners have recognised two pillars that policy instruments can focus on to support this R&I delivery:

- using quadruple helix cooperation from industry, government, academics and community along the technological value chain at regional and interregional level

- coordinated and simplified funding schemes for the development of marketable and society orientated products and services.Partners and regional stakeholders cooperate over three years of interregional learning, leading to regional action plans with the aim to detail concrete measures for policy improvements. They continue to cooperate while implementing these measures, using interregional exchange for further stimulus and monitoring.

Policy changes will deliver long-term impact to regional competitiveness and socio-environmental well-being, thanks to collaborative innovation and innovative products addressing socio-environmental needs. They will open new markets for enterprises and improve capacity of regions to direct European space policies and strategies.

Project partners met for the first time in February 2017 in the beautiful city of Florence to outline the strategy for the programme.

Partners and stakeholders travelled across Europe from: Spain, Germany, Belgium, UK, France and Czech Republic.

A number of actions were agreed, with a key focus being to arrange a local launch event and build a stakeholder group at a local level.

Durham County Council's economic development unit Business Durham will lead on the project as the UK partner developing a stakeholder group to take the project forward.

-        We would like to hear from stakeholders who have one or more of the following:-

  • A background or working knowledge of Space related activities (having worked on funded projects would be ideal)
  • A background or working knowledge of photonics activities (having worked on funded projects would be ideal)
  • Academics with space or photonics research
  • Experience of influencing policy
  • Experience of shaping funding
  • A keenness to shape funding within space sector to drive commercialism

Any interested parties should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To find out more about STEPHANIE click here.

Follow the conversation on Twitter search #STEPH_EU



  • Elaine-scott

    Elaine Scott

    Innovation Development Manager

    +44(0)3000 265 505
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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