Paris, 19 May 2004
ESA will meet with Polish industry and institutes, at a workshop in Warsaw, Poland, 26- May, to provide Polish industry with an opportunity to gain insight into ESA's programmes and to receive advice on how to participate in European space activities.
Poland already has a framework cooperation agreement with ESA and has indicated its intention to strengthen its relationship with ESA with a view to eventual accession to the ESA Convention. This stronger relationship implies an opportunity for Polish companies and institutes to increase their participation in the Agency's programmes. In turn, this could lead to a greater involvement in other space markets.
Poland has been involved in space research since 1970 when the country's first instrument was launched. In 1977 the Polish Space Research Centre was founded and in 1978 a Polish cosmonaut flew on the Solyut 6 mission. The first cooperation agreement with ESA was signed in 1994 and Poland became a Eumetsat Cooperating State in 1999.
The Polish Space Office was created in 2001 and the new agreement signed with ESA on 24 January 2002, significantly broadens the fields of cooperation.
In particular it offers Poland a possibility to take part in ESA's research, development and scientific programmes, especially in such areas as outer space exploration, Earth observation, telecommunications, satellite navigation and microgravity. Poland also participates to the EU funded 'Twister' project on digital divide.
The May workshop will present issues and trends in the commercial and institutional space markets at world and European level, from equipment suppliers to end-users. This should provide a road map for how to build competitive and sustainable space activities in Poland using ESA Programmes as a key element in this process.
To support Polish industry and institutes to better define their niches and potential European partners, a recent mapping of the competencies of more than 170 companies in ESA Member States and Canada will be presented.
An independent assessment of Poland's industrial and research capacities is currently being carried out by the French firms Bertin Technologies and Euroconsult together with their Polish partner Polspace.
Polspace is a firm of consultants specialised in space policy, industrial and technology matters. In close cooperation with space research centres, its mission is to support the development of space industry and space applications in Poland.
The May workshop complements this activity and provides Polish companies and research institutes with an opportunity to discuss their specific capabilities with ESA.
For more details, please see the workshop programme.