EU Agency for the Space Program will open in Prague in 2021
The new EU space agency will be based in the Czech capital city since January 2021. The opening of the new agency will expand the GNSS Agency (GSA) which has been managing the EU’s Galileo satellite system in Prague for the past seven years. The agency staff will increase from the current 100 to around 700 people after the opening.
In additional to the expansion and development of Galileo operations, the Czech Republic will manage the use of the Copernicus Earth observation satellite system, prepare the Governmental Satellite Communications program and concentrate EU capacities to monitor the Earth’s close surroundings.
Space activities are of key importance to many Czech industries today and the Czech Ministry of Transport focuses on space activities through its National Space Plan. The expansion of the GNSS Agency in Prague fits well in it. The country’s goal is to further strengthen the Czech space industry in the coming years, focusing on technologies and applications such as flexible solar panels for satellites, rocket parts, advanced materials and usage of satellite data in transportation and agriculture.
The Czech Republic will invest 1,205 billion CZK in space activities in 2020, increasing its budget by 275 million CZK. According to the Ministry of Transport, the country wants to become a high-tech economy and stay in touch with European and global trends by paying more attention on the space sector.
According to the GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides, space activities play a significant role in the EU economy. “According to our recent GNSS Market Report, the global downstream market revenue from both GNSS devices and services will grow from €150 billion in 2019 to €325 billion in 2029. These figures show us that space already plays a major role in the EU economy, creating opportunities for business and jobs for European citizens, he said.“
Source: expats cz
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