New Space and Space 4.0 have been emerging over the last few decades, enabling easier accessiblity to space and the development of new markets, with new opportunities to seize. European companies must already position themselves among the main private actors while developing a sustainable spatial sector embodied in the social and economic structure. Moreover, the Green Deal and European Union recovery plan offer various opportunities to develop space related, environmental-friendly projects. The Walloon Government also identified the space sector as vital in their Regional Policy Declaration in their legislature 2019-2024. Structuring the Walloon driving force in the spatial field requires better coordination between the administrations, universities, and research centers with the industrial sector in order to support research projects within a high-end technological platform. They will consist in meeting advanced technological challenges covering the entire spatial value chain, from manufacturing, instrumentation and launching to post-processing and data services. Particularly, constellations of Smallsats are capable of answering vital societal challenges, such as the monitoring the human global footprint on Earth. Developing disruptive technologies facilitating Earth observation can widen fundamental research perspectives in the framework of sustainable development (climate, agriculture, pollution, etc), and serve direct applications related to global communication and cybersecurity.
Space4Relaunch is a collaborative program revolving around two of the sectors combining high accessibility of the Walloon industrial landscape, and high attractiveness to world space markets. The research promoted by this program will be carried out through a total of 30 PhD theses answering cutting-edge technological challenges towards adequate Technology Level Readiness for industrial needs in the spatial sector.
Space4ReLaunch regroups two researches axes complementing each other for a common roadmap: Win4Space, which is dedicated to Earth observation, and Win4ReLaunch, which focuses on reusable launchers. The Joint Research Institute For Space (JRI4SPACE) has also been created in order to strenghten the synergies between all the actors in the spatial area, and to develop a cross-disciplinary approach for the identified strategic innovation domains.