Thursday 5 September, Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES and of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), was at the fourth edition of the International Space Forum at Ministerial Level (ISF), focused this year on the Mediterranean and co-organized by IAF, the Italian space agency ASI and the University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria.
Initiated in 2015 by the IAF Vice-President for Science and Academic Relations, ISF is a yearly gathering at ministerial level that aims to encourage local and global discussion on the need to promote greater involvement of universities and national academies in space activities. Not all nations have their own space programme, but universities and academies all over the world are working together to establish a global network to support the conception, preparation and operation of space missions.
Cohesive, inclusive and balanced collaboration between nations is spawning a new network of knowledge and human capital in the field of space, through sharing of intellectual resources and active contributions to developing and operating space science programmes, notably to support education and training.
Every year, the ISF brings together ministers of higher education, research and space, representatives of space agencies and international organizations. Top-level keynote speakers are invited to give talks on specific subjects chosen for each edition of the forum. After Africa in 2017 and South America in 2018, the focus for this year’s forum is the Mediterranean, revolving around three main topics: ‘maritime surveillance’, ‘space and the blue economy’, and ‘space education, cooperation and scientific knowledge’, all of which were included in the ‘Reggio Calabria Page’ adopted at the end of the day’s proceedings.