An MOA concerning cooperation for the mutual benefit of ESA and SMEs

Signature of the Memorandum of Agreement between ESA and the new organisation SME4space
25 June 2007

A new agreement, signed last week at the International Paris Air Show, will facilitate the access of SMEs to space activities, particularly to ESA programmes. Indeed, ESA’s intention is to derive the maximum benefit from innovative, dynamic and entrepreneurial European SMEs by drawing on their skills, expertise and cost-effectiveness for its programmes.

Although the SME contribution to ESA programmes has increased over the past years, particularly since the Agency started its SME Initiative in 1998, this new agreement will further exploit the potential of SMEs thus benefiting ESA’s space programmes and European space SMEs by assisting them to maintain and expand their position in the global space market.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, and Giovanni Sylos-Labini, SME4space Chairman, at ESA’s pavilion at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget on Tuesday, 19 June. The agreement formalises cooperation between the Agency and a new organisation: SME4space.

Michel Courtois introducing the SME4space Conference at Le Bourget

SME4space is a European consortium consisting of a group of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Trade Associations, plus individual SME companies from ESA Member and Cooperating States. The MOA will enable both parties to share information on the expectations and interests of European SMEs for space programmes and activities, and facilitate SME access to ESA programmes and space activities in general.

Regular consultations will allow ESA and SME4space to define together how SMEs can participate as early as possible in the life-cycle of ESA programmes. This will allow ESA to benefit from the advantages SMEs can offer and for SMEs to increase their global business perspective and potential.

Requests for more information can be sent to James Barrington-Brown, SME4space Vice Chairman, at jamesbb @

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