Paris, 26 Nov 2003
The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Austrian Space Agency (ASA), on behalf of the Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) of the Federal Republic of Austria, today founded the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna.
The Institute, whose creation was recommended to the ESA Director General in 1999, is to become the focal point for promoting European space policy in the world. It will identify and develop research themes relevant to European space policy, which will be used to initiate, support and promote political and societal debate to raise the public awareness of the importance of space-based infrastructures and services.
The European Space Policy Institute will create a virtual network of think tanks that will federate their know-how and skills in order to conduct comprehensive space policy research. The tasks of the Institute are multidisciplinary, building up know-how and knowledge to provide comprehensive and independent policy research to space players in Europe.
The ceremony at which the ESPI Statutes were signed was held in the presence of the Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology of the Republic of Austria, Hubert Gorbach, the ESA Director of Strategy and External Relations, Jean-Pol Poncelet, and the Managing Director of ASA, Klaus Pseiner.
The ESPI will be located in Vienna and legally represented by a Secretary General. Any national space administration, intergovernmental research organisation, university, institute or other national or international, governmental or non-governmental entity or any other natural or legal person with a particular interest in taking part in ESPI activities may become a member of the Institute.
The host country Austria, a truly European and international location for the ESPI (amongst other international organisations, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is in Vienna), will thus play a significant role in enhancing space policy issues. Austria and its scientific and industrial space players have always been reliable partners of the European Space Agency, contributing high-tech space technology to various European space programmes.
For further information, please contact:
ESA, Directorate of Strategy and External Relations
Tel: + 33(0)22.214.171.12475
Michel A. Jakob
ESPI Contact Point
Austrian Space Agency
Tel. + 43(0)1.403.81.7726
Fax. + 43(0)1.405.8228
ESA Media Relations Service