Nicosia, July 11, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
The selection of potential projects in the context of the Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS) will start soon following the signing of the European Cooperating State Agreement between Cyprus and the European Space Agency (ESA) which took place last week.
According to ESA, the PECS Charter, including the list of approved PECS projects, will allow the placement of the first contracts with Cyprus.
Domains for potential future PECS projects were identified in Earth observation, space science, navigation, telecom and integrated applications among others.
Cyprus became last week the 11th country to sign the European Cooperating State Agreement, strengthening its relations with ESA.
The Agency notes that a first Cooperation Agreement with Cyprus was signed in 2009 and that following the technical visit to Cypriot entities in 2011, an updated review of selected companies, institutes and universities was carried in June 2015, affirming significant increase in awareness of ESA’s activities.
“A broad range of capacities was presented and domains for potential future Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS) projects were identified in Earth observation in particular, including water resources, forest monitoring, agricultural mapping, maritime surveillance, environment protection and urban development. Space science, navigation, telecom and integrated applications, and space situational awareness were also considered as areas for potential projects”, ESA says.
It points out that a Cyprus Remote Sensing Society has been created, counting at least 50 active members, contributing to building a stronger national Earth observation community.
Furthermore, it recalls that ESA co-organised in Nicosia in September 2013 a Radar Remote Sensing Course together with the Frederick University, the Department of Electronic Communications of the Ministry of Communications and Works of Cyprus, in cooperation with Cyprus University of Technology and the University of Cyprus.
The Agency also supported and participated in several space-related conferences and workshops in Cyprus such as ‘Cyprus Embraces Space 2015’ and the ‘Fourth International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geo-information of Environment’ in April 2016.
The European Cooperating State Agreement was signed last week during an official ceremony in Nicosia by Permanent Secretary of the Cypriot Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, Alecos Michaelides, and ESA Head of External Relations Department, Frederic Nordlund.