Although Latin America has traditionally not been a major investor in the space sector, interest has increased significantly in recent years. For instance, a new Galileo station is planned to be located in Cordoba, Argentina, while Brazil, which has the most advanced space programme in Latin America, has seen investment in space research rise rapidly.

International co-operation is an important component of Latin America’s bid to develop its space sector. It is also integral to the EU’s various space programmes, including Galileo. Since the end of 2005, the Galileo Information Centre (GIC) for Latin America has been working to raise awareness of the co-operation opportunities available and to promote collaboration under the Galileo umbrella. The information centre was set up under the initiative of the European Commission and is coordinated by the LATINO consortium, a group of Latin American and European institutions led by Pildo Labs.

Its mission is to provide information, organise awareness-raising activities and facilitate interaction between Latin American and European players in the context of EU-funded programmes related to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). A virtual platform was also established to promote information exchange between members in Latin America and Europe.

Like similar information centres in other regions, the GIC for Latin America will continue to focus on supporting international co-operation and market interpenetration, as well as dissemination and educational tasks. In addition, it will gear its efforts toward ensuring a positive flow between European industry and the main regional stakeholders. Activities in the near future will include supporting the Galileo community’s infrastructure, extending the Associated Centre Network to cover the rest of Latin America, as well as assisting and coordinating Galileo-related R&D activities in the region.

An ‘Industrial Information Day’ is now being planned in Brazil for the May -June time frame, with a view to establishing closer links between Latin American and European Companies involved in the development of GNSS applications.

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