EU turns focus to drones and spatial communication in world tech race

The European Commission on Monday announced three flagship projects – in drone technologies, space communication and space traffic management – aimed at giving the 27-country bloc a competitive edge in these new fields.

Called the Action Plan on Synergies between the civil, defence and space industries, the scheme’s objective is to harness research and innovation in the three sectors for the projects and other ventures.

The EU executive said the drone project would reinforce the competitiveness of EU industry in this key area with a strong defence dimension, while space communication would provide for a resilient and high-speed connectivity in Europe based on quantum encryption.

It said space traffic management was required to avoid collisions resulting from the proliferation of satellites and space debris, while ensuring autonomous EU access to space.

EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton said the projects would help the bloc stand on its own feet instead of relying on other countries.

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