AI Special Interest Group on Space

First meeting of SIG Space, The Hague, 9 – 10 December 2019 (Top, left to right: Iarla Kilbane-Dawe (no longer a member), Bianca Hörsch, Alessandro Donati, Saso Dzeroski. Bottom, left to right: Leon van der Torre, Holger Hoos, Malik Ghallab, Raffaella Franco, Sara Aparicio (support), Leopold Summerer)


On the 6th of September 2019, the creation of the World’s first AI Special Interest Group, or SIG, dedicated to Space and related sciences, was announced by the European Space Agency and CLAIRE.

The SIG’s goal is to accelerate the development of both AI and space-related research, and
forms a key part of ESA’s wider strategy to accelerate the use of AI in Europe’s space and
related industries and research communities.

It will have a very practical focus, organising events and workshops to bring European AI and space experts together, supporting exchanges between these communities and identifying the key themes for collaboration that could be funded by ESA’s and other research programmes.

It will offer the perfect opportunity for scientists to tackle major problems in space related
sciences and to challenge AI researchers to create new methods and approaches.

Monitoring climate change using satellites measurements, designing autonomous rovers to
explore other planets, or identifying objects using astronomical observatories in orbit: all
these issues are very rich in data and for this reason are an ideal field of application for the
latest AI techniques, and in turn are expected to generate new AI science.

As a result, the SIG will not only develop AI for space-related topics, but help the
development of all AI technologies in Europe, including machine learning, automated
reasoning, planning and optimisation, robotics and multi-agent systems. Many areas of AI
will take advantage of the stimulating and cooperative activities to be created by ESA and

PRESS RELEASE, Frascati, 06 September 2019
The ESA/CLAIRE “AI Special Interest Group on Space” is born


The members of the AI Special Interest Group on Space are:

Enrique Alba, University of Málaga, Spain

Rita Cucchiara, University of Modena, Italy

Alessandro Donati, Deputy-Head of ESA’s Digital Technologies community, Germany

Saso Dzeroski, Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia

Raffaella Franco, Head of ESA’s Digital Technologies community, The Netherlands

Malik Ghallab, Director of Research, CNRS, France

Holger Hoos, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Bianca Höersch, ESA Chief Digital Officer, France

Pierre-Philippe Mathieu, Head of ESA Phi-Lab Explore, Italy

Leopold Summerer, Head of ESA Advanced Concepts and Studies Office, The Netherlands

Leon van der Torre, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

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