The COSPAR Capacity Building Initiative

The Capacity Building Programme (CBP) is considered today one of the flagships of COSPAR (Committeeon Space Research) activities. The programme started in 2001 as a tentative project designed to widen expertise in space sciences and promote the use of data archives from space missions in developing countries, as a way to foster in those regions of the world high quality scientific activities. In the past 19 years a total of 35 COSPAR workshops have been held, involving more than 1000 advanced students and young researchers in 21 different developing countries. Participants have learnt in a highly practical manner how to analyse data from diverse space missions, covering practically all Space Science disciplines, from Astronomy to Earth Observation, from Solar Physics to Planetary Sciences, including Ionosphere, Magnetospheric sciences and even Planetary Crystallography. A key tothe success of the CBP has been the strong and selfless engagement of internationally high ranked scientists as well as of the space agencies, ESA, NASA and JAXA. I will discuss in this presentation the history and current status of the Programme, but emphasise the changes we are introducing to make it better, more efficient and wider in scope.