I am well past the midpoint of my stay in Boulder, so the time has come to take stock of the first two months of Fellowship.
A few days ago I sent an interim report to Brussels and was encouraged by the positive feedback to have it published in this blog. The report is based on input gathered mainly through face to face interviews, informal discussions and attendance of several relevant events during the first half of my Fellowship (August 15th to October 15th) at the University of Colorado. Therefore, credit for content is to be given to my interlocutors. In so far as possible, I have tried to identify the sources for specific input reflected in the report. However, this is not always possible as, at times, the same idea has been echoed by several people. There is, of course, a little bit of my own perception, which often coincides with the input I got, as well as a personal attempt at organising the main ideas emerging from my discussions.
What I have found most striking throughout my contacts is the extent to which leading research universities play a fundamental role in the development of space activities, commercial and otherwise, in the U.S.. As I explain in the interim report, University of Colorado provides a good illustration of this. There are examples of good practice in the way universities, industry and government interact that could perhaps serve as inspiration for future action in the EU.
In return, the EU seems to be ahead of the game in everything that has to do with downstream market development and its policy of structural contacts between policy makers, industry and users. Downstream market development in the U.S. is certainly happening but it is more a matter of natural synergies, rather than the result of a targeted policy. However, several of my interlocutors recognised that it would be desirable to build structural bridges between industry and end users within some form of institutional setting.
The interim report is work in progress. Comments to the report are welcome through this blog or via my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The report can be found following the link below: