M. Névant (FR), Editorial Committee
E pur si muove! (and yet it moves!)
Almost five hundred years after the Italian mathematician, physicist and philosopher Galileo Galilei pronounced this famous phrase (or so we are told), we recently heard again from Galileo.
On 12 December 2017, the Ariane 5 rocket successfully launched four new Galileo navigation satellites on behalf of the European Space Agency and the EU joining 18 other Galileo satellites already in synchronous orbit. Following the launch of a further four satellites, the Galileo satellite constellation will be fully operational by 2020. It will have an accuracy close to 90 cm being more accurate than either the US GPS or the Russian GLONOSS.
It is noteworthy that the satellites were built by a German company, with navigation instruments provided by a British company, and placed on orbit by a pan-European launcher. This joint effort reminds us of the Airbus success story which is the result of collaboration between European states and companies which began at the end of the 1960s. This collaboration fueled innovation which enables Airbus to compete effectively with its archrival Boeing.
Cooperation and innovation across Europe are the key to the development of such projects, and there is no reason why successes of the past can not be replicated in sectors where Europe has an edge, such as in life sciences or cybersecurity. epi has long been experiencing pan-European cooperation through its various bodies and committees, and its members are on “stand-by” and eager to contribute to future European collaborations.
This year marks a milestone in the life of our Institute which will turn 40. Thus, we look forward to the celebrations of this anniversary which will take place in Malta on 13th and 14th April 2018.