Bulgaria strives for associate membership in the European Space Agency (ESA) and steadily increases its contribution to it. This was stated by the Minister of Innovation and Growth, Milena Stoycheva, today within the framework of the Ministerial Meeting of the ESA Council, within the framework of the Summit on the topic “Space” 2023 in the Spanish city of Seville. The event was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Innovation and Growth Prof. Georgi Angelov, the Ministry of Innovation and Growth (MIR) informed.
Minister Stoycheva believes that the space sector is key because it is the driver of new technologies, innovations and technological breakthroughs. According to her, the dynamic development of the European space sector allows companies to grow faster, attract private and institutional investors and introduce business innovations with the use of space data for the benefit of society and the economy.
Cooperation with ESA increases investments in Bulgaria’s economy and its competitiveness through participation in new programs together with the countries of the European space space, she pointed out some of the benefits for the country from deepening cooperation in the agency.
“Bulgaria has more than 50 years of experience in the field of space and the capacity to contribute to the development of space technologies in Europe. Through the implementation of the European Cooperating State Agreement with ESA, Bulgaria realizes important partnerships in the field of space technologies and the space economy, which contributes to strengthening the capacity building of our space ecosystem,” said the minister.
According to her, among the agency’s projects, in which Bulgarian companies have participated, are those for the development of information systems for monitoring hydropower reservoirs, construction of space greenhouses and production of space food, development of communication satellite terminals, nano satellite power systems, ground monitoring of agricultural and forest areas and many others.
Milena Stoycheva also highlighted several priorities for countries in the field of space – creation of an accelerator for companies in the direction of a green, sustainable and safe future of the European space economy, equal access to outer space and space exploration.
“In order to encourage the participation of SMEs and start-ups in such projects, it is necessary for all Member States to actively participate in the EU’s space programmes. The development of new services and applications to support the implementation of various policy priorities will promote European competitiveness and will lead Europe to a new position on the global market,” said Minister Stoicheva.
She stated that the ministerial meeting will strengthen joint commitments of the member states for purposeful common actions and ensuring European leadership in space.
BTA recalls that Minister Stoicheva announced at the end of last week that the “Artemis” Agreements between MIR and NASA are about to be signed. This happened during her meeting with a delegation of 15 innovative companies from the USA, led by the American ambassador to Bulgaria, Kenneth Merten.