A delegation from the European Space Agency (ESA) is due in Cyprus next month to update the joint assessment of the island’s space activities, communications minister Marios Demetriades said on Tuesday.
He was speaking at the Conference ‘Cyprus Embraces Space 2015’ organised by the European University of Cyprus.
“The opportunities for growth offered by further developing the domestic space industry that will arise from this positive step are tremendous,” he said, adding that an adequate space industrial policy should be defined with the support of ESA.
Demetriades said the cabinet had recently approved the Smart Specialisation Strategy for Cyprus. This strategy had shown that the effective development and deployment of key enabling technologies – like space technologies – were an important factor in the island’s industrial and economic future.
He also said Cyprus would be happy to examine the possibility of installing a Copernicus Space Component Ground Segment in Cyprus, as it had done with the Galileo programme.
“It has been demonstrated that the success and development of space sector is not an exclusivity of “big” states. Small states can, through a targeted strategy, cope successfully with this area,” he said.
“Many essential activities that shape our daily lives, like weather forecasting, global communications or broadcasting, would be almost unthinkable today without the use of space and satellite technology. In our interconnected world, science and technology activities are major drivers of productivity and economic growth, and the space sector is one vector for this dynamic.”
Demetriades said a growing range of new corporate players across a wide range of industrial sectors were now engaged in space related activities.
“Cyprus needs to exploit its own capabilities,” he added, citing as priorities, satellite communications, earth observation, space navigation, and the enhancement of relations with the ESA.
Cyprus, as a member state of EU, actively participates in the Horizon 2020, Galileo/EGNOS and Copernicus EU programs that help research and innovation.
On August 2009, Cyprus signed a Cooperation Agreement with the ESA. The island now aims at signing the European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement.
Demetrides said by doing this, Cyprus expected it to result in promoting innovation and research, attracting foreign investments, creating new jobs and accessing more EU funds.