On Nov. 30th, 2022, for the 6th episode of Space Cafè Italy, Editor in Chief Dr. Emma Gatti had the opportunity to interview Giorgio Saccoccia, the president of the Italian Space Agency, just few days after the ESA Ministerial Council, which was held in Paris on Nov. 22 and 23.
The Ministerial Council (CM22) is an every three-year council during which ESA details the budget for the next 3 and 5 years. Member states renew their contributions and the various projects and missions are confirmed, cancelled or modified depending on the funds received. It is an important appointment in terms of technological, strategic and geopolitical aspects. This year, Italy has almost matched France and Germany in terms of contributions, and is firmly in third place among the Member States, with a contribution of 18.2 % (compared to 18.9 % of France and 20% of Germany). The interview with Saccoccia was an opportunity to hear directly from him about the dynamics of the Ministerial, and have a detailed view of how these funds will be distributed among the various missions. The distribution of funds indirectly underscores ASI’s strategy, which reconfirms its interest in focusing heavily on Earth observations -which has always been a strategic sector for the country- but also in contributing to the creation of a national constellation (IRIDE) and expanding its portfolio of technical capabilities by targeting new sensors. This policy direction also remark the economical needs of the country, which has a space economy sector composed by few large companies, but also by many smaller business that need specific funds and programmes.
The full interview (in Italian) can be seen here: