Slovakia is set to become a new member of the European Space Agency (ESA) following a decision by the government at its regular session on December 17.
According to the Education, Science, Research and Sport Ministry which submitted the proposal, Slovakia will gain access to strategic information and valuable know-how in space activities and the development of satellite services. The country could in turn use this information to develop new and innovative products and services. The membership fee is estimated to stand at €1.4 million per year.
“This money is a good investment, as 85 percent of the amount is guaranteed to return to the Slovak economy via projects carried out by our scientists,” Education Minister Juraj Draxler told the TASR newswire.
The decision to join ESA should allow Slovak research and development institutions and innovative companies to participate in international projects focused on the development of new technologies used in space and other sectors. “On top of that, we anticipate the creation of new jobs [for Slovaks], not only at home, but also in the other member countries with which we’ll be in contact during our cooperation," said education ministry spokeswoman Beata Dupaľová Ksenzsighová.
Slovakia will be entitled to full membership of the body after five years, until which time it will enjoy the status of a cooperating state.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
18. Dec 2014 at 14:00