Frame­work agree­ment signed be­tween the Malta Coun­cil for Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy and France’s Na­tional Space Agency, CNES

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

The Malta Coun­cil for Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, which makes part of the Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tariat for fi­nan­cial ser­vices, dig­i­tal econ­omy and in­no­va­tion within the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter, last week signed a frame­work agree­ment with the Cen­tre Na­tional D’Etudes Spa­tiales, the French space agency re­lated to the pro­mo­tion of co­op­er­a­tive ac­tiv­i­ties in space.

The aim of this agree­ment is to es­tab­lish a re­la­tion­ship aimed at im­prov­ing the co­op­er­a­tion and devel­op­ment of op­por­tu­ni­ties for Mal­tese en­ti­ties and pro­fes­sion­als to col­lab­o­rate with an agency of out­stand­ing her­itage within the space sec­tor.

Most im­por­tantly, con­sid­er­ing that the Mal­tese space sec­tor is at its in­cep­tion, this agree­ment aims to con­tinue rais­ing aware­ness and ca­pac­ity build­ing within this lu­cra­tive sec­tor: a prime ob­jec­tive of the re­cently pub­lished Na­tional Space Pol­icy.

In his ad­dress, Dr Jef­frey Pul­li­cino Or­lando, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of the Malta Coun­cil for Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy men­tioned that “col­lab­o­ra­tions such as the one signed to­day with CNES, add lever­age to ca­pac­ity build­ing and public out­reach: sup­ple­ment­ing these efforts with tan­gi­ble ex­am­ples of good prac­tices that help bridg­ing the gap be­tween so­ci­ety and satel­lite ap­pli­ca­tions”.

Dr Jean-Yves Le Gall, pres­i­dent of CNES said: “I am pleased to say we have had very fruit­ful dis­cus­sions with the of­fi­cials in charge of space here in Malta, which has a cru­cial role to play in the space sec­tor, no­tably in the do­main of space ap­pli­ca­tions. I note that it is es­pe­cially im­por­tant that Malta wishes to step up its na­tional re­search ef­fort and thus con­trib­ute to shap­ing Europe’s space pol­icy in the years ahead.”

Apart from col­lab­o­rat­ing on space-re­lated ca­pac­ity build­ing and public out­reach ini­tia­tives, the agree­ment en­ables co­op­er­a­tion on the re­search and devel­op­ment of down­stream space ser­vices. These ser­vices trans­form a wealth of satel­lite im­agery and other data into value-added in­for­ma­tion sup­port­ing a wide range of ap­pli­ca­tions: en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion, agri­cul­ture, fish­eries, trans­port, tourism and civil pro­tec­tion, among oth­ers.

Ad­di­tion­ally, co­op­er­a­tion on small scale space tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment, test­ing and val­i­da­tion is also fore­seen un­der this agree­ment.

In ad­di­tion to col­lab­o­ra­tions on joint re­search projects, this frame­work agree­ment opens doors for the ex­change of per­son­nel, good prac­tices, to­gether with the or­gan­i­sa­tion of joint work­shops and train­ing of ex­perts.

Since Malta signed a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with the Euro­pean Space Agency, in Fe­bru­ary 2012, MCST has been tasked with the co-or­di­na­tion and gov­ernence of spac­ere­lated mat­ters in Malta. The French Am­bas­sador Béa­trice Le Fraper du Hellen was also present for the event.

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