CYPRUS wants to associate itself with European Space Agency (ESA) programmes and activities and to prepare for possible future accession to the ESA Convention, Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said on Wednesday.
He added that island can offer itself as a staging ground for space programmes or to develop related technologies.
Addressing the ‘Cyprus Embraces Space 2016’ conference, Demetriades said that objectives include developing cooperation between scientific and applications-user communities in Cyprus and ESA member states, creating and strengthening the respective industrial expertise and capacity of Cyprus with a view to allowing a fair and equitable participation in future agency programmes, and fostering Cyprus’ understanding of European space products, standards and procedures.
According to the minister, the opportunities for growth offered by further developing the domestic space industry that will arise from this positive step are tremendous.
“An adequate space development policy should be defined with the support of ESA,” Demetriades said.
“Cyprus has one of the best climate conditions for earth observation. Together with the strategic location, the national infrastructure and expertise, we can develop innovative space technology services and attract investments.”
He added that by signing the European Cooperating States (ECS) agreement, Cyprus expects to promote innovation and research, attract foreign investments, create new jobs and secure more EU funding.
Demetriades also said that Cyprus has set priorities, which include the sectors of satellite communications, earth observation, space navigation, and the enhancement of relations with the ESA.
The space sector, together with the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, he added, can be a driver for growth and regional cooperation, and promote collaboration in civil-use related disciplines between neighbouring countries.
The conference was organised by the European University of Cyprus, the Research Promotion Foundation and the Department of Electronic Communications.