15 December 2010
Today, Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA, and Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency, signed a new Cooperation Agreement between ESA and Canada that will extend their partnership for a further 10 years, until 2020.
ESA and Canada have enjoyed a 30-year partnership that has led to many successful space projects. They will now continue to build on their shared interests. Their focus will continue to be on space applications.
ESA and Canada have joined forces in telecommunications, including Olympus, Artemis and Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES); Earth observation, including ERS, Envisat and Global Monitoring for Environment & Security (GMES); navigation, including Galileo; and related technologies, such as the General Support Technology Programme.
The benefits of the ESA-Canada relationship extend beyond good cooperation between the two space agencies. European and Canadian companies have forged strong alliances, creating teaming arrangements and opportunities for new markets.
The scientific and academic communities have developed a close relationship of their own that has enabled, for example, cooperation in utilisation of the International Space Station or the current discussion on the use of space data and services for the benefit of Arctic regions.
ESA and Canada are also both involved on a multilateral or global scale. They are two of the five partners in the International Space Station and key players in the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
The partnership dates back to the beginning of the European space programme. In the early 1970s, ESA and Canada started working together in the telecommunications area, jointly developing the Communications Technology Satellite.
Based on that success, they intensified their collaboration and the first cooperation agreement between ESA and the Government of Canada was signed in 1979.
Since then, Canada has been a closely cooperating state with ESA, which allows Canada to contribute to ESA programmes as a Participating State.
This is the fifth consecutive Agreement between ESA and Canada. "With this signature today, we are opening a new chapter that will offer opportunities for Canadian contributions to ESA's programmes and ESA contributions to Canadian programmes," stated Jean-Jacques Dordain.
"It will build a bridge across the Atlantic that is even more solid, and that will allow us to draw on our respective strengths and expertise while taking into account our respective evolutions."
"Through this new 10-year Cooperation Agreement with ESA, Canada will continue to leverage its scientific and technological knowledge to further advance space-based expertise and strengthen our relations in support of the mutual interests and priorities of our space programmes," said Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency.
About the Canadian Space Agency
Established in 1989, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) coordinates all civil, space-related policies and programmes on behalf of the Government of Canada. CSA directs its resources and activities through four key thrusts: Earth Observation, Space Science and Exploration, Satellite Communications, and Space Awareness and Learning. The CSA conducts its activities through three key business lines: Space Utilisation: serving the needs of Government Departments; Space Exploration: positioning Canadian Science and Technology to advantage in future international space exploration missions; and, Space Science and Technology: which drives synergy and builds capacity in academia, industry and government to respond to the current and future needs of Canada's space programme. By leveraging international cooperation, the CSA generates world-class scientific research and industrial development for the benefit of humanity.
For further information, please contact:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: + 33 1 53 69 72 99
Fax: + 33 1 53 69 76 90
Canadian Space Agency
Tel.: (450) 926-4370