The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space and with an annual budget of over 5 billion €. It was established in 1975 and Belgium was one of its founding members. ESA acts as the de facto Belgian space agency. Its activities include human spaceflight, space transportation, navigation, space science, space engineering and technologies, operations, telecommunications, integrated applications and Earth Observation.
There is an obvious synergy between our national programmes and European commission (EC) / ESA activities. Programmes like STEREO enable the training of highly qualified researchers and the development of expertise. In return, this facilitates a high level of Belgian participation in H2020 or ESA projects.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1986. Its purpose is to supply weather and climate-related satellite data, images and products to the national Meteorological Services of its Member and Cooperating States in Europe, and other users worldwide.
With the use of satellites monitoring the weather and climate of the Earth, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States.
EARSeL is a scientific network of European remote sensing institutes, coming from both academia and the commercial/industrial sector. The association was founded in 1977 under the auspices of the European Space Agency, the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
BELSPO is also leading a consortium composed of Belgian and Dutch scientists in charge of the organisation of the IGARSS conference to be held in Brussels in July 2021. IGARSS, the IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium is one of the most well-known and biggest international remote sensing conferences.