articles | 19 May 2015

'Cyprus Embraces Space 2015' conference

The following text is the full address by the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Marios Demetriades at the conference 'Cyprus Embraces Space 2015'.

It gives me a great pleasure to address this Conference and I would like to thank you all for your participation. Furthermore, I would like to extent my thanks to the organizers, the European University of Cyprus, our hosts, the Research Promotion Foundation, the Department of Electronic Communications, as well as the speakers.

Many essential activities that shape our daily lives, like weather forecasting, global communications or broadcasting, would be almost unthinkable today without the use of space and satellite technology. In our interconnected world, science and technology activities are major drivers of productivity and economic growth, and the space sector is one vector for this dynamic.

The globalization of the space sector is accelerating. A growing range of new corporate players across a wide range of industrial sectors are now engaged in space related activities.

Cyprus needs to exploit its own capabilities. Recognizing this strategic reality, we proceeded with the organization and development of the appropriate necessary structures and procedures, aiming to an active participation in the European Space Policy.

We have set our priorities, which are the sectors of satellite communications, earth observation, space navigation, and the enhancement of relations with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Cyprus, as a member state of EU, actively participates in the Horizon 2020, Galileo/EGNOS and Copernicus EU programs that will help research and innovation, and other sensitive sectors of our economy.

On August 2009, Cyprus signed a Cooperation Agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA), which is the first stage of our relationship with ESA. On February 2015, Cyprus expressed its willingness to re-launch the discussion with ESA, aiming at the signature of the European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. By signing the ECS Agreement, we expect to result in promoting the innovation and research, attracting foreign investments, creating new jobs and get more EU funds.

In this framework, on June 2015, a team from ESA will visit Cyprus in order to update the joint assessment of the Cypriot space activities.

The opportunities for growth offered by further developing the domestic space industry that will arise from this positive step are tremendous. An adequate space industrial policy should be defined with the support of ESA.

The Council of Ministers has recently approved the Smart Specialization Strategy for Cyprus. The strategy has shown that the effective development and deployment of key enabling technologies –like space technologies- are an important factor in the industrial and economic future that enables to fulfil the local societal challenges.

We will be happy to examine the possibility of installing a Copernicus Space Component Ground Segment here in Cyprus, as we have donewith the Galileo program.

It has been demonstrated that the success and development of space sector is not an exclusivity of ‘big’ states. Small states can, through a targeted strategy, cope successfully with this area.

Concluding, I would like to thank once again our speakers and wish all of you a productive and fruitful day.

Source: Famagusta Gazette

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