STEPHANIE – space and photonics technology for market and societal challenges
STEPHANIE is an Interreg Europe project involving eight partners from seven European Countries Spain, Germany, Belgium, UK, France and the 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 five 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 the capacity of regions to direct European space policies and strategies.
Since the project began partners from across Spain, Germany, Belgium, UK, France and the Czech Republic are currently working together to identify good practice to support the growth of this sector through public policy, with a focus to propose appropriate policies for each region.
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.
STEPHANIE brings together regional Space and Technology Innovation Actors (SPIA) to exchange ideas and experiences on policy models. The approach is designed to improve innovation delivery in the field of photonics-based space technology by addressing two main policy challenges:
- Quadruple helix cooperation of academia, industry, government and users along the technology value chain at regional and interregional level.
- Strengthening of existing and new regional and international funding schemes and simplification of access and administration.
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