Brussels, 05 Jul 2005
Finland has outlined its national space strategy for 2005 to 2007, which has the aim of developing those fields of space science with the most substantial societal impact.
The strategy emphasises the potential societal benefits of the sector, the value of the new information that is produced through space research, and the potential growth in competitiveness of Finland's space industry.
Timo Kekkonen, Director General of the Finnish Space Committee which drew up the strategy, said: 'The previous strategic choices made in the space sector have been successful. The aim is to continue to support the growth of the business in the space industry and to increase the utilisation of the applications of space technology, satellite navigation and remote sensing.'
During the two year period covered in the strategy, growth in Finnish space activities will be focused on projects co-financed by the European Union and European Space Agency (ESA). 'Finland is in favour of the new European Space Programme and considers its sub-programmes, the global navigation satellite system Galileo and the GMES remote sensing programme, especially important.'
By contrast, the strategy gives a low prioritisation to many of the most prominent international space programmes, such as manned space flights and the manufacture of Ariane launchers, which it dismisses as 'narrower and more risk-prone than other ESA programmes'.
Finally, the strategy reveals that a national technology programme will be launched to develop space applications, as well as a research programme in support of space technologies.
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