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Canada-European Space Agency Cooperation Agreement

Facilitating access to the European and global market for the Canadian space industry

The Cooperation Agreement between Canada and the European Space Agency (ESA) enables companies from the Canadian space sector to participate in ESA activities and programs and allows Canada to be part of the ESA's decision-making process. Through this unique agreement (Canada is the only non-European cooperating state), Canadian organizations are allowed to bid on tenders for ESA contracts related to activities and programs in which Canada participates. It provides opportunities for them to create alliances with European industry and access to space qualification or flight opportunities for their technologies and products. The implementation of the Cooperation Agreement between Canada and the ESA is primarily accomplished through a contribution program.


In addition, Canada's participation in ESA programs can:

Benefits to Canada

Canada's investments in ESA programs have resulted in significant business opportunities for Canadian industry through the development of alliances with European industry. They have contributed to job creation, acquisition of knowledge and skills, and indirect benefits for the Canadian economy.

Canadian involvement in ESA missions has played an important role in developing Canadian expertise in Earth observation and in establishing the Canadian satellite communication industry as a world leader.

Here are some examples of results arising from Canadian participation in ESA programs:

Details about the agreement

Below are some of the points set out in the Cooperation Agreement:

With respect to the geographical distribution of work relating to the activities and programs in which Canada participates, the ESA shall:

Brief history of the agreement

Canada and the ESA have been collaborating in the space sector since the early 1970s. Formal cooperation began in  with the signing of the first Cooperation Agreement. The Agreement has been renewed five times since (, , , and 2019).

The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on and entered into force on . It will be in effect until .


Should you have any questions about the cooperation between Canada and the ESA, contact us at

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