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The French–Greek bilateral cooperation in the Space sector becomes wider and more visible: Signature of a Letter of Intent for the cooperation between CNES and GSRT

Date:
20/11/2015

In the framework of the ongoing bilateral cooperation in Space between the responsible public entities of France (Centre National d’ Etudes Spatiales/CNES) and Greece (General Secretariat for Research & Technology/GSRT), a preliminary cooperation agreement was signed between CNES and GSRT on the occasion of the visit of Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic, to Athens on 22-23 October 2015. The agreement, in the form of a Letter of Intent/LoI, was signed in the presence of President Hollande, on the Greek side by Prof. K. Fotakis, Alternate Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, responsible for Research & Innovation, and on the French side by Mrs. N. Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of the National Education, Higher Education & Research, and by Mr. J.-Y. Le Galle, CNES President.

The signature of the LoI constitutes the next step of a –so far very satisfactory– French-Greek bilateral cooperation in the Space sector, and confirms the intention of both sides to reinforce their relationship and to venture into new cooperation opportunities. The LoI foresees the exchange of views and the coordination in activities/areas of common interest, the identification of mutually interesting thematic priorities, the support towards the creation bilateral consortia, as well as the joint effort for the eventual full formalisation of the cooperation between the two sides in the medium term.

The activities/areas of common interest on which the cooperation is focused are the following:

  • The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Work Programmes, which initially triggered the current bilateral cooperation,
  • the “Horizon 2020” European Union (EU) Framework Programme for Research and Innovation,
  • the long-standing successful French-Greek bilateral cooperation in Research & Technology,
  • commercial/industrial activities.

It should be noted that the French-Greek bilateral cooperation in Space between the two public entities has been on-going for the last two years. It originates in the ESA context, and more specifically in the framework of the Organisation’s active industrial policy for balancing the geographical return between its member-states. Following this first fruitful bilateral cooperation, a joint Working Group has been formed by CNES and GSRT with the task of supporting the further development and expansion of the bilateral relationship, an intention confirmed through the signature of the LoI. In parallel with this cooperation at the level of public entities, cooperation initiatives are in progress at the level of space/innovation clusters and that of individual entities/ enterprises.

 

 
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