Press Release

Europe and Canada: Partners in Space A Model of International Co-Operation

By SpaceRef Editor
December 15, 2010
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Europe and Canada: Partners in Space  A Model of International Co-Operation

Today in Paris, before representatives of the European Space Agency (ESA) and its Member States and in the presence of Canada’s Ambassador to France, Marc Lortie, Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency and Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA signed a new Cooperation Agreement between Canada and ESA, thereby renewing until 2020 their outstanding 30-year partnership to foster cooperation in space science and technology.

This formal partnership with ESA is of strategic importance for the delivery of the Canadian Space Program. Canada’s cooperation with ESA provides our industry and scientists with access and opportunities to develop their knowhow and to demonstrate their capability to existing and potential European partners. It enables the creation of teaming arrangements between Canadian and European industries, thereby fostering competitiveness and the opening of new markets for Canadian industry. Academia and the Government of Canada rely on the ESA data, science and technologies to support science as well as operational needs. Areas of investment include Earth Observation, Satellite Communications, Navigation, and Space Exploration – all fields in which Canadian industry has a competitive and recognized expertise.

“Through this ten-year extension of our 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 programs,” said Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency.

“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, Director General of ESA.

Pushing the frontiers of discovery and the development of new technologies in the demanding environment of space, the Canadian and European Space Programs provide an outstanding model for international co-operation. Since 1979, through the creation of alliances between space companies, university researchers and scientists, a far-reaching co-operation agreement has brought significant benefits to both sides of the Atlantic. These alliances have spurred collaboration in scientific research, fostered the development of advanced technologies and provided greater returns on investments for both space programs.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) coordinates all civil, space-related policies and programs 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 Agency conducts its activities through three key business lines: Space Utilization: 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 Program. By leveraging international cooperation, the CSA generates world-class scientific research and industrial development for the benefit of humanity.

European Space Agency Member States

ESA has 18 Member States; the national bodies responsible for space in these countries sit on ESA’s ruling Council: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Canada was the first non-European cooperating member to sit on the Council and participates in select projects under a Cooperation Agreement. Hungary, Romania, Poland, Estonia and Slovenia are participating in the Plan for European Cooperating States, while Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and the Slovak Republic have also signed Cooperation Agreements.

Canadian Space Agency
Media Relations
ESA Media Relations Office
Communication Department
+ 33 1 53 69 72 99
+ 33 1 53 69 76 90 (FAX)

SpaceRef staff editor.