The Contribution Agreement between ESA and the EU on space technology activities was signed today by ESA Director General Jan Wörner and the European Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Pierre Delsaux.
The objective of the EU’s In Orbit Demonstration/Validation (IOD/IOV) activities pursued through this agreement, in the frame of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, is to set the grounds for a potential future provision of a regular IOD/IOV service for new technologies in Europe, based on European solutions for spacecraft, ground segment and launch services.
The choice of the European Commission to delegate ESA with the full implementation of the EU Horizon 2020 IOD/IOV actions acknowledges ESA’s leading expertise in managing such programmes and mitigating risks, based on its long-standing experience in managing its own IOD/IOV programmes.
Through the agreement, the EU also contributes to ESA’s Light Satellites, Low cost, Launch opportunities (LLL) initiative, specifically for the Proof of Concept demonstration flights for the Vega Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) and Ariane 6 Microsat Launch Share (MLS).
The signature of this Contribution Agreement constitutes a welcome expansion of cooperation between ESA and the EU, building on the successes of the Galileo/European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and Copernicus flagship programmes, the implementation of which is also delegated to ESA.