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The European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Paris. It currently has 22 Member States, with Canada as the only non-European cooperating state.

The purpose of the ESA is "to provide for and to promote for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems."

ESA industrial policy

The ESA industrial policy ensures that all Member States participate in implementing ESA programs in a fair and efficient manner, while taking advantage of free competitive bidding.

One of the policy's key elements is the set of regulations in the ESA Convention on geographical distribution and fair return for ESA contracts. The Cooperation Agreement contains the necessary provisions to ensure that the ESA policy on fair industrial return for its Member States also applies to Canada. The principle of fair return means that a country's share of contracts is proportional to its financial contribution in ESA programs or activities. Thus, in order for Canadian industry to obtain contracts from ESA under a given program or activity, Canada has to contribute financially to that program or activity.


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

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