Press Release

The SURE project, a new opportunity for European research in space

By SpaceRef Editor
November 15, 2005
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The SURE project, a new opportunity for European research in space

At MEDICA 2005, the European Space Agency (ESA) will present the European Commission funded SURE project (The International Space Station: a Unique REsearch Infrastructure), an initiative which opens up extraordinary new research opportunities in space primarily for East European countries, a community of researchers and industry that so far did not have access to the International Space Station.

Far above the constraints of the atmosphere, and free from the effects of gravity, the Space Station represents a unique infrastructure for performing research in weightlessness conditions unachievable on the ground, and developing and testing new products and innovative technologies. From life and physical sciences to health and nutrition, the facilities and resources available onboard the Station not only allow scientists to carry out groundbreaking research, but also offer companies the opportunity to increase their competitive advantage by using the space environment as a platform for applied R&D and technology demonstrations.

Thanks to cooperation with the European Commission the 4-year SURE project will enable ESA to broaden access to the Station to a wider international community, with priority going to scientists, to the Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the new European Member States (EU10), and to Romania and Bulgaria.

“Opening up access to the ISS to users from the new EU Member States and the two future acceding ones gives an opportunity to promote more effective utilisation and greater development of European research infrastructure, and further fosters a closer relationship between ESA and the European Union” says Mr Sacotte, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration.  

The SURE project will be a core theme for ESA at MEDICA 2005, with ESA giving a special presentation for the launch of the SURE project on 18 November at 14.30 in the Conference and Press Area of the Messe Düsseldorf, Room 201, North Entrance. On this occasion, ESA Astronaut Frank de Winne will describe his experience of living and working in space and will talk about the research activities currently being performed onboard the International Space Station. Speakers from ESA and the European Commission will introduce the SURE project and the related Announcement of Opportunity (AO), which is being launched by ESA with the aim of selecting projects to be given access to the ISS, on the basis either of scientific excellence or of potential for industrial applications.

Additional information on the SURE project and the related Announcement of Opportunity may be found at:

For further information please contact:

Maurizio Belingheri
Head of ISS Commercialisation Division
Tel.: +31 71 565 4687
Fax: + 31 71 565 5232

Marc Heppener
Head of ISS Utilisation and Microgravity Promotion Division
Tel.: +31 71 565 5117
Fax: + 31 71 565 3517

Dieter Isakeit
Head of Erasmus User and Communication Office
Tel.: +31 71 565 5451
Fax: + 31 71 565 8008

SpaceRef staff editor.