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Estonian govt supports continuing investments into European space program

BC, Tallinn, 25.09.2018.Print version
The Estonian government has supported the plan to continue with large-scale investments into the new European space program.

Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Rene Tammist said that the entire space field is going through a revolutionary development, as a result of which the role of small countries in it is significantly changing.

"New technologies and business models enable Estonian companies to speak along in this high-tech field, which has historically been the domain of only global superpowers," Tammist said.

Thanks to its membership of the European Space Agency (ESA), Estonia is already forming success stories, which by using space data offer completely new fields of products and services.

The minister brought as an example Sille, an early warning system created by Datel. It is an early warning system based on the open data of the European Union's satellites, which can detect the shifting and shifting of large infrastructure -- including bridges, pipelines, port and mining areas and large buildings -- with an accuracy of up to one millimeter.

Joining ESA has created numerous possibilities for Estonian companies -- participating in high-tech development work, entering the high-tech supply chain, finding new cooperation partners, gaining access to the world's top research and technology expertise, attract foreign investments and contribute to high-tech export.

Tammist said that like the innovative service Sille can prevent accidents caused by the deterioration of infrastructures and through that increase the safety of the society, it is important that other Estonian companies and research institutions also gain faster and more convenient access to space data and services and with the help of that be able to develop globally competitive products and services and export them successfully.

"We as a spokesperson for the data economy and a successful digital country are especially interested in ensuring that smarter things be done with data," Tammist said.

The government last week approved a regulation of the European Parliament and Council of Europe, with which a new EU space program will be created and for the implementation of that an EU Agency for the Space Program will be established. The program will ensure the consistency of investments in EU space activity, promote the development of research and engineering and support the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the European space industry, especially small and medium sized companies, startups and other innovative entrepreneurs.

The preparations for the new space program started with the Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2017, when the main directions of the space field for the next few years were agreed on. At present, talks concerning the next budgetary period of the EU are ongoing, while the wish is to contribute 16 bin euros to the space field.

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