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International co-operation

Belgium has been participating in the European aeronautic development programme AIRBUS for more than twenty years. A large number of Belgian companies is active in the aeronautical sector, known for its highly technological character, its intensive R&D activity, and substantial recurrent production levels. In Belgium, the Federal Science Policy Office and the Federal Public Service for Economy, SMEs, Independent Professions and Energy have created an aeronautical platform that manages the development contracts concluded between the Federal Government and Belgian firms participating in the development and construction of new Airbus aircraft. It also manages the contacts with the European institutions for aeronautics related matters. .
Read more on the Airbus website...
More information: Approval of the federal support meausure "Aeronautics 2008-2013" by the European Commission (in Dutch or French) (pdf)

CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites)
The CEOS is an international organisation which unites, at the world-wide level, all of the space agencies as well as the main programme users active in the field of Earth Observation. The CEOS is striving for harmonisation of Earth Observation space programmes, inter alia:
1. by defining and promoting standards (calibration/
validation procedures, data catalogue and transfer, etc.)
2. by seeking to co-ordinate the scheduling of future scientific missions, in order to satisfy as well as possible the needs of the community of users, in particular in the field of 'Global Change' (global, terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems, atmosphere)
3. by developing an 'Integrated Global Observation Strategy', an initiative which serves as a pilot project in specific fields (carbon cycle, ocean, mitigation of disasters, etc.)
4. for a strategy of global monitoring of the terrestrial ecosystem from space.
The CEOS functions on a voluntary basis, and does not have any financing of its own. The presidency of the organisation is fulfilled on a rotating basis; all of the members meet once a year in a plenary session, where the strategy and projects in progress are reviewed.
The permanent secretariat is provided jointly by the NASA/NOAA (US), the NASDA/STA (Japan) and the ESA for Europe
Read more on the CEOS website...
Read more on the NASA website...
Read more on the NASDA website...

COPUOS (United Nations Committee for peaceful uses of outer space)
COPUOS is the United Nations Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. It is composed of a Plenary Committee which in principle meets once a year, and two Sub-committees (one for legal questions and an other for scientific and technical questions). Belgium is member of the COPUOS. The Federal Science Policy is represented in the Belgian delegation to the COPUOS which is headed by the Belgian Ambassador in Vienna. The body of the United Nations in charge of the organisation and of executing the decisions of the COPUOS is the OOSA (Office for Outer Space Affairs). COPUOS has its headquarters in Vienna.
Read more on the COPUOS website...
Read more on the United Nations Coordination of Outer Space Activities website...

COSPAR (Committee on Space Research)
The COSPAR is an international Committee established in Paris, in October 1958 by the International Council for Science (ICSU). It is an organ for strictly scientific cooperation wherein Governments are not directly represented. The COSPAR Council is its highest board: it gathers representatives from national scientific institutions (for Belgium: the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts) as wel as international scientific organisations. The COSPAR organizes numerous symposia, colloquia, workshops, some in co-operation with IAF.
Read more on the COSPAR website...
Read more on the ICSU website...

ECSL (European Center for Space Law)
The ECSL was created under the auspices of the European Space Agency, where it is headquartered. This centre is dedicated to the study, knowledge and enhancement of Space Law in its most diverse forms (International law, National law, Private law, etc.). It organises several excellent events each year: colloquia, forums, and above all the summer course addressed to European students in order to familiarise them with Space Law and Policy.
Read more on the ECSL website...

EURISY (European International Space Year)
In 1989, the main European actors in the field of space research and applications - i.e. the European Space Agency, the national space agencies, the European Commission, political and scientific leaders and representatives of the industry - created the EURISY Association, so named in anticipation of the International Space Year (1992). The Belgian Science Policy Office was a founding member of EURISY.
Today the Federal Science Policy Office still supports the objectives of the Association :
1. enhancement of the strategic importance of European space efforts
2. maintenance of a permanent forum between organizations involved at different levels and for specific interests in space activities
3. education and popularisation addressed to the general public, particularly the young, with regard to everyday applications of space sciences and technologies
4. support of international exchanges between students and teachers, notably via new information technologies.
Read more on the EURISY website...

IAF (International Astronautical Federation)
The international Congress of the IAF is internationally renowned. It draws space professionals from all countries, as well as students and researchers. It provides an occasion for them to exchange information, make contacts, and keep abreast of the latest developments.
Read more on the IAF website...

IISL (International Institute for Space Law)
The IISL is an organisation founded by the IAF and dedicated to the study, enhancement and harmonisation of Space Law. The IISL is recognised as an expert body in this field. As such, it organised the workshop on "Space Law in the 21st century" which was held in the framework of the technical Forum of the International UNISPACE III Conference. The IISL and the ECSL co-ordinate their work.
Read more on the IISL website...

ISU (International Space University)
The ISU is an institution based in Strasbourg (France), which offers educational programmes in the field of space disciplines. These programmes are intended for generalists: they cover all of the scientific, technical, political, legal and strategic questions which arise in the field of space activities. The ISU offers two types of programmes:
1. the 10-week summer session (SSP) is held in a different city each year. It welcomes students or young graduates from throughout the world
2. the "Master in Space Studies" (MSS) is an examination with lectures offered during the academic year at the ISU headquarters near Strasbourg.
Read more on the ISU website...

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