At its 64th session, held on November 2, 2017, the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted a decision on the initiation of the procedure for concluding an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the European Space Agency (ESA) on space co-operation for peaceful purposes.
The Republic of Croatia is not a formal member of ESA. In April 2014, a letter of intent was sent to the Director General of the ESA, expressing the desire of the Republic of Croatia to become a member state. In May 2015, Croatia discusses co-operation options with the ESA delegation. Since 2015, the Republic of Croatia participates as observer state at the sessions of the ESA Council, the International Relations Committee and other working bodies.
The agreement paves the way for the full co-operation with ESA, facilitates the exchange of information through meetings, workshops, training programs and application of specific data as well as the use of the ESA’s assistance in compiling the national space strategy.
The long-term interest of the Republic of Croatia in terms of cooperation with ESA is also of economic nature. Approximately 90% of the budget of the European Space Agency is allocated for contracts with European industry and therefore it is expected that the Agreement will ultimately open new business opportunities for successful economic operators from the Republic of Croatia.
Luxembourg, one of Europe’s smallest countries is gradually becoming a giant in the space industry.
With a population of just over 590.000, Luxemourg now generates nearly 2 percent of its annual GDP ($61 billion in 2016 ) from the space industry, according to Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider.
Luxembourg’s sights are set on resources in space, and the country’s “space resources initiative” is plans to make the most out of a quickly growing global industry, Schneider says. “It’s a series of measures to position Luxembourg as the European heart of exploration and use of space resources.”
Space mining is Luxembourg’s present focus, but it is not the country’s first encounter with the space industry. In 1985, Luxembourg launched a public-private partnership with satellite builder SES. While Schneider said he believes the satellite business has not reached a negative trend, he does not anticipate the space industry growing beyond the 2 percent GDP mark any time soon.
You can read more about the Deputy Prime Minister’s comments via this link.
The development of space technology and research are one of the few, perhaps the only, activities that are constantly on the rise, with no apparent limit to this rise. There are two reasons for this – the universe is the future of mankind and activities in this sector are interdisciplinary by their structure. The countries that understand it make every effort to broadly educate younger generations as the foundation of their space program. An example is a recent Canadian Space Agency competition award that would encourage the creation of small satellites, so-called „Cube Sats“. Here are the points of the competition:
• Expected budget for new awards over four years: $2.85 million
• Eligible recipients: Canadian post-secondary institutions (colleges and universities)
• Type of transfer payment: Grants
• Maximum amount per grant: Up to $200,000
• Duration of grant: Up to four (4) years from award
• Approxiate number of grants: 13
• Application deadline: December 15, 2017
What is also of significance is that considering the substantial costs that selected participants from the three farthest territories will face for travels to and from southern Canadian locations to attend collaborative efforts and/or project review meetings, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is planning on covering such travels for an amount not to exceed $50,000 per funded proposal involving a territory (in addition to the amount of $200,000 mentioned above). This action enables participants from the most distant areas of Canada to equally participate in the call.
You can find out more information on the call via this link.