Negotiations between the Department of Electronic Communications and the European Space Agency for the Cyprus ECS Agreement are under way with the overall objective to associate Cyprus with Agency programmes and activities and to prepare in the most efficient manner for possible future accession to the ESA Convention.

The position was outlined Monday by Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Marios Demetriades, who made the remark during the 4th International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of Environment that is being held in Paphos.

Noting that last year remarkable progress has been achieved in the enhancement of relations with ESA, Demetriades said the specific objectives of an agreement include developing cooperation between scientific and applications user communities in Cyprus and Agency Member States.

He also said it will create and strengthen the respective industrial expertise and capacity of Cyprus with a view to allowing a fair and equitable industrial participation in future Agency programmes after accession and foster Cyprus’s understanding of the Agency’s organization and functioning of European space products, standards and procedures.

Demetriades said he expected these negotiations to have a positive result that will lead to the signing of the ECS Agreement in July 2016 which will promote the innovation and research, attracting foreign investments and EU funds and creating new job opportunities.

Noting that Cyprus has one of the best climate conditions for earth observation and together with the strategic location, the national infrastructure and expertise, they can develop innovative space technology services and attract investments.

Demetriades further said that Cyprus wants to be part of the space development and to benefit from the space systems that are today essential for the well being and security of the European citizens and for this reason it is proceeding with the organization and development of the appropriate necessary structures and procedures aiming in an active participation in the European Space Policy.

He also said that the earth observation sector in Cyprus is one of our priorities. The opportunities that arise from the related EU programmes, especially Copernicus, should not be underestimated. He urged all the stakeholders to examine the possibility of installing a Copernicus Space Component Ground Segment, here in Cyprus, as we have done with the Galileo programme.

“Cyprus needs to exploit its own capabilities through a national space strategy. Recognizing this strategic importance, Cyprus has set its priorities which are the sectors of satellite communications, the earth observation, the space navigation, and the enhancement of relations with European Space Agency (ESA)”, he concluded.

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