Athens workshop on space industry

June 30, 2004

Brussels, 29 Jun 2004

A workshop will be held in Athens from 8-9 July to enable ESA staff to meet with representatives of Greek companies and institutes in order to support them in increasing their role in European space activities. The meeting comes at the time when Greece is finalising the process of joining ESA as a Member State.

Greece began cooperating with ESA in 1995. In 2001 an extended framework cooperation agreement was signed that opened up participation in three ESA programmes: ARTES, GMES and GSTP.

Greece formally applied to join ESA in September 2003 and the agreement on Greece's accession to the ESA Convention will be ratified this year. Once Greece becomes an ESA Member State, its companies and institutes will be able to increase their contribution to the Agency's programmes leading to greater involvement in all ESA's space activities.

Space programme

The Hellenic space programme is developing in four major directions: atmospheric sciences, geodesy and geodynamics, Earth observation and satellite communications. The country's scientific community has gained international recognition in space physics and has participated in several US space missions and also international missions including Ulysses, Geotail, Cluster, Polar and Soho.

In Earth observation Greece focuses research on how remote sensing can be used in four distinct areas: water management in the Mediterranean region; urban planning and land use mapping; risk assessment and mitigation for volcanic and seismic activity in the Hellenic territory; and, assessing the degree of atmospheric pollution over large cities and industrial zones.

The focal point in telecommunications is on research and development for satellite and terrestrial wireless networks for both fixed and mobile applications. In November 2001, the Hellas-Sat consortium was formed to provide space segment capabilities and telecommunications and broadcasting services through its own satellite.

In 2002 Astrium signed a contract with Hellas-Sat for the supply of Greece's first satellite. Launched on 13 May 2003, this provides secure telecommunications coverage for Greece and Cyprus and another 25 countries in the surrounding area. The satellite supports telephony, Internet, telemedicine, defence and digital television applications.

Athens workshop

The July workshop is organized by ESA with the support of Bertin Technologies, Euroconsult and the Institute for Space Applications and Remote Sensing, which is part of the National Observatory of Athens. During the workshop ESA will present the current situation of the European space industry and provide information on how to access it, who the main players are and recent industry trend in industry.

In addition, ESA, through Bertin Technologies and Euroconsult, will conduct a series of bilateral meetings with representatives from the companies and institutes present at the workshop, in order to map the Greek capabilities and potential, and provide information to industry about ESA's programmes.

For more details, please see the workshop programme.

Notes for editors:

ARTES is ESA's "Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems". Greece has participated in three of the four programme elements.

GMES is a joint initiative of ESA and the EC for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security.

GSTP is ESA's General Support and Technology Programme, the primary objective is to develop identified critical technologies for future space programmes.

ISARS (Institute for Space Applications and Remote Sensing) belongs to NOA (National Observatory of Athens). Founded in 1842 this is the oldest scientific institute in modern Greece. ISARS is the leading public research institute in space science and engineering, with research and development activities in various related scientific areas, including space physics, remote sensing and telecommunications.

Bertin Technologies is a leading consulting firm providing services for technology and innovative management in the space, defence and biotechnology sectors for both industrial and institutional clients.

Euroconsult is a worldwide reference for research and consulting services in the space sector, providing independent and impartial advice to government agencies, space companies, satellite operators and investors in their decision-making process.

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