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ESA And Canada Renew Partnership In Space Science And Technology

Fifth Consecutive Agreement Between The Two Agencies

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 on Thursday 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.

FMI: www.esa.int, www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/default.asp

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