In the last 20 years, Europe has become a technology pioneer through applications such as the Earth Observation and Galileo. Europe has invested in the exploration of space with costeffective missions and supported collaborative initiatives with the European Space Agency securing its strategic role in this domain.
Through FP7, the EU financed research and development activities to:
- Develop space-based applications for European Society, in particular 'Copernicus' - the EU's flagship space programme (formerly known as the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security - GMES)
- Strengthen space 'foundations' such as space science and exploration, space transportation, and space technology, whilst also working together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and other European, national, or regional entities
- Support cooperation with specific countries such as Russia, Ukraine, China, or African countries
- Support research that benefits small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and develop studies in certain policy areas (so-called "cross-cutting activities").