Negotiations between Cyprus and the European Space Agency (ESA) for the upcoming ECS Agreement that will promote innovation and research in the sector are under way, Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said on Monday.
The overall objective is to associate Cyprus with ESA programmes and activities and to prepare for possible future accession to the ESA Convention.
Demetriades announced the move during the 4th International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of Environment in Paphos.
He said last year, remarkable progress had been achieved in the enhancement of relations with the ESA.
The specific objectives of an agreement includes developing cooperation between scientific and applications user communities in Cyprus and Agency Member States, he said.
Demetriades said he expected the negotiations to have a positive result that will lead to the signing of the ECS Agreement in July 2016 which will promote the innovation and research, attracting foreign investments and EU funds and creating new job opportunities.
The minister said Cyprus wanted to be part of space development and to benefit from space systems “that are today essential for the well being and security of European citizens”.
He also said the earth observation sector in Cyprus was a priority for his ministry.
“The opportunities that arise from the related EU programmes, especially Copernicus, should not be underestimated,” he said and urged all stakeholders to examine the possibility of installing a Copernicus Space Component Ground Segment in Cyprus, as the government had done with the Galileo programme.
“Cyprus needs to exploit its own capabilities through a national space strategy. Recognising this strategic importance, Cyprus has set its priorities which are the sectors of satellite communications, the earth observation, the space navigation, and the enhancement of relations with European Space Agency,” he said. (CNA)