Young Space Activities Overview in Portugal
The space sector in Portugal has been mainly developed through the international cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA). Even though the industry panorama is considerably smaller than other ESA member states, the number of space-related companies has increased in the last years, many of which produce for other industries beyond just space.
The creation of the Portuguese Space Agency in March 2019 has been a major step towards a continuous effort in strengthening Portugal’s position in the New Space Economy. This agency is a non-profit entity managed through a consortium made by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the National Innovation Agency (ANI), the Ministry of Defense and the Regional Government of the Azores, with the Autonomous Region of Madeira joining as an observer since December 2019.
Portugal has also been active in supporting initiatives that inspire students to pursue a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. As an example, Ciencia Viva has had a major role in organizing and sponsoring international events and competitions such as the European CanSat competition, the Conference for Space Teachers, the Moon Camp Challenge and the Climate Detectives Challenge (for more information, please see this link).
In addition, some universities led initiatives such as the Rocket Experiment Division from the Instituto Tecnico de Lisboa aimed at building and launching student designed rockets to gain practical experience in the field of rocketry and the space sector. Another initiative, SPACEWAY, aims to build an online community with the goal of promoting and igniting curiosity around Space for a new generation students, young professionals and space enthusiasts.
Finally, the ESA Space Solutions Portugal, first started as Business Incubator Center (BIC) in 2014 and having invested in more than 30 companies under their incubation program, now offers an expanded range of service, including the ESA Business Applications Ambassador Platform and ESA Innovation Partners to further support to Portuguese entities seeking support to conduct space / ESA activities.
Country-Specific Events in 2020-2022
Act in Space, Coimbra, 13-14 November, 2020
Interesting Web Links
Groups & Entities
- Portugal Space Agency
- AED Portugal – The website of Aeronautical, Space, Security and Defence industries in Portugal
- ANI – Agência Nacional de Inovação
- OAL – Observatório Nacional de Lisboa
- CAUP – Center of Astrophysics of the University of Porto
- CENTRA – The Multidisciplinar Centre for Astrophysics
- ESERO – European Space Education Resource Office
- ProEspaço – Portuguese Association of Space Industries
- SPA – Portuguese Society of Astronomy
- FCT Space Office – Foundation for Science and Technology Space Office
- Dark Sky Alqueva
- UC – Master in Astrophysics and Space Instrumentation, University of Coimbra
- UL – Aerospace Engineering, University of Lisbon
- UBI – Department of Aerospace Sciences, Universidade Beira Interior
- UP – Astronomy degree, University of Porto
- OAL – Astronomy and Astrophysics courses, Astronomical Observatory of Lisbon