Date: December 13, 2021
Autor: Ewelina Kaatz-Drzeżdżon
The Network of governmental Users (NoU) of future GOVSATCOM services has been established to foster an effective exchange of information and long-term collaboration among organisations representing EU Member States and EU entities. The network was set up in September 2020 with the official launch of the ENTRUSTED project by members of the project consortium. The NoU has expanded since then and it is expected to grow in the future.
Members of the NoU work together to raise awareness on the EU GOVSATCOM initiative among potential governmental users, both civil and military, and other relevant stakeholders. They collect information on governmental and institutional user needs, contribute to the definition of operational requirements and evolving use cases for secure SatCom. They also exchange information on existing and planned future SatCom capabilities.
Nowadays, the NoU associates 13 Member States and 7 EU institutions and agencies which form the ENTRUSTED Consortium, as well as 2 Member States and 3 EU agencies that collaborate with the Consortium. Activities of the NoU are coordinated by the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) – the coordinator of the ENTRUSTED project. Member States that belong to the NoU represent potential beneficiaries of future GOVSATCOM services. EU institutions and agencies also play a vital role in the network, as they represent both technology or service providers and user communities.
The relationship and cooperation between NoU members who belong to the ENTRUSTED Consortium has been formally defined in the Consortium Agreement and the ENTRUSTED Grant Agreement. The Consortium is formed by partners representing both governmental interests of each participating Member States and interest of EU entities dealing with security or defence operations who can benefit from the use of secure SatCom services. Consortium members contribute to research activities and have full access to project results, including any EU classified information. To facilitate the involvement of other entities in research activities and provide them with early access to project results, the Consortium has formally defined the role of an external collaborator in the scope of the ENTRUSTED project. Those members of the NoU who are not in a position to join the Consortium may become external collaborators. They provide advice and support to the Consortium but do not formally participate in any decision-making processes.
Initially, the NoU was composed of 12 Member States (Austria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Spain) and 7 EU institutions and agencies (EDA, EFCA, EMSA, EEAS-CPCC, EUSPA, JRC and SatCen) who formed the ENTRUSTED Consortium. Since the project inception, several organisations have expressed their interest and joined the NoU, including Czech Republic, Malta, Germany, Frontex, Europol and DG ECHO.
The NoU will enable a harmonised exchange of information and knowledge between national representatives, EU institutions and agencies, potential end-users and other relevant stakeholders. The NoU will be also involved in the identification of training needs and the provision of field tests. In addition, members of the NoU will be engaged in the determination of options for a more efficient use of investments across the EU in the area of governmental satellite communications.