Estonia to spend almost a million euros per year for European Space Agency membership
The Parliament's Economic Affairs Committee has given its support to Estonia's accession to the European Space Agency (ESA), which will cost 870,000 euros annually for the country.
The Chairman of the Committee Toomas Kivimägi said that although the accession would oblige Estonia to contribute to the budget of the Agency, it would also make it possible for Estonian businesses to participate in ESA procurements.
It is expected that the ESA membership would benefit businesses and research and development institutions alike, through directed procurements of the ESA as well as by winning public calls for tenders by ESA.
“This is a good example of how Estonian R&D can support Estonian businesses,” said member of the Committee, the former Finance Minister Maris Lauri. “But now we are taking this to a cosmic level.”
When joining the ESA, Estonia must make a single payment of 600,000 euros, followed by yearly payments of 870,000 euros. During the transition period from 2016–2022, 500,000 euros of the money will be used for directed procurements from Estonian businesses and research and development institutions, 260,000 euros will go towards the overall expenses of the ESA and 50,000 euros towards the upkeep of the infrastructure necessary for rocket and satellite launchers. The remaining 60,000 euros is for Estonian businesses and research and development institutions for making offers within the obligatory research programs of the ESA.
The necessary bill on ratification of Estonia’s accession to the European Space Agency will be sent to the first reading in the Parliament in June and the accession to the ESA is planned for September of this year.