The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) which makes part of the Parliamentary Secretariat, for financial services, digital economy and innovation within the office of the Prime Minister, has today signed a framework agreement with the Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) 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 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, amongst 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 space related matters in Malta. The French Ambassador Her Excellency Béatrice Le Fraper du Hellen was present for the event.
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