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.
- Foster innovation and competitiveness by exposing companies from the Canadian space sector to ESA activities and programs dedicated to developing space applications, technologies and systems
- Maintain or increase the ability of the Canadian space sector to successfully contribute to Canadian space initiatives by providing access to ESA flight opportunities, so as to demonstrate and qualify technologies and elements of space systems
- Facilitate access to European space contracts and international public and private space contracts, if applicable
- Keep abreast of European space policy directions and Europe's technological, scientific, programmatic and commercial space environments to better guide the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) strategic planning process
In addition, Canada's participation in ESA programs can:
- Facilitate the participation of Canadian scientists in ESA missions
- Facilitate access to ESA data and/or infrastructure that meets the needs of academia and government departments/organizations
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:
- Canada shall contribute annually to the ESA's General Budget expenditure (excluding the output "Technological research") in its initially approved version. This contribution shall represent 50% of its contribution scale calculated on the basis used for the Member States of the Agency.
- Canada shall contribute to the expenditure of the optional activities and programs in which it participates.
- Canada shall have the right to be represented at open meetings of the Council of the ESA, and Canada shall have the right to vote on questions relating to the programs in which it participates. Canada shall not have the right to vote in Council on the General Budget or on matters related to it.
- Canada shall have the right to be represented at meetings of the subordinate and advisory bodies of the ESA to discuss activities and programs in which Canada participates.
With respect to the geographical distribution of work relating to the activities and programs in which Canada participates, the ESA shall:
- Allow Canadian organizations to submit bids in response to ESA invitations to tender relating to programs in which Canada participates
- Ensure a fair industrial return to Canada for activities under the General Budget, excluding the Technological Development program (TD)
- For optional activities and programs, implement for Canada the applicable rules developed for the various activities and programs, to the same extent as for the other Participating States
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Canada's areas of action in ESA programs
- Current opportunities for the Canadian space sector
- The ESA
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