Lithuania becomes ESA Associate Member state



Agency

21/05/2021
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Lithuania signed an Association Agreement with ESA on 28 April 2021, which entered into pressure on 21 May.This Association Agreement between ESA and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, builds on the profitable outcomes achieved below the earlier frameworks of cooperation and enters into pressure for a period of seven years. Comprising 18 Articles and two Annexes, it orchestrates the strengthening of Lithuania’s relations with ESA.

Ms Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of Economy and Innovation, signed the Association Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and ESA on 28 April in Vilnius. Associate membership turned efficient on 21 May, upon notification that respective inside procedures had been accomplished, which included ratification by the Lithuanian parliament on 20 May.Following its unanimous approval by Council, the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher on 18 March 2021 at ESA Headquarters, in presence of the Ambassador of Lithuania to France.

Ms Aušrinė Armonaitė, Lithuanian Minister of Economy and Innovation, with the Association Agreement
“The accession of Lithuania to ESA as an Associate Member will allow Lithuania to implement its sturdy dedication to driving innovation, growing applied sciences and selling analysis. There will probably be many alternatives for Lithuanian scientists and entrepreneurs to hold out joint house initiatives with the most important European know-how firms, whereas contributing their scientific data to the Agency’s actions,” stated HE Mr Nerijus Aleksiejunas.For a few decade, ESA and Lithuania have been engaged in varied types of cooperation, first below a basic Cooperation Agreement, adopted by a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The latter entered into pressure on 28 September 2015, with the signature of the Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS) Charter, and was currently prolonged for 12 months, till 27 September 2021.

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher with the Ambassador of Lithuania to France, HE Mr Nerijus Aleksiejunas
The overarching goal was, by an enhanced and mutually helpful cooperation, to make sure a profitable integration of Lithuania within the body of ESA, the additional improvement of sustainable and aggressive industrial capabilities, and their integration within the house provide chain, whereas securing in the end a good geographical return to the nation.The profitable outcomes achieved below the earlier frameworks of cooperation have been collectively reviewed in a gathering with Vice Minister Jekaterina Rojaka, in Vilnius on 24 January 2020. A feasibility research of Lithuania’s house potential was additionally carried out by the consulting firm Visionary Analytics. Former Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas subsequently requested that Lithuania be granted the standing of Associate Member, an software unanimously supported by ESA Member States.The Association Agreement will enable direct Lithuanian participation within the ESA’s elective programmes, topic to the unanimous approval of respective taking part states. Lithuanian delegates and advisers will probably be entitled to attend conferences of ESA Council and its subordinate our bodies, and to vote on questions referring to the actions and programmes through which Lithuania participates. The Lithuanian delegation to ESA is led by Mr Edvinas Grikšas from the Innovation Policy Division of the Ministry. The ambitions of Lithuania in house have additionally led to the institution of the Lithuanian Space Office on 4 July 2019, presently headed by Ms Eglė Elena Šataitė, inside the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA).Among the programmes accepted in November 2019 in Seville, the General Support Technology Programme (GSTP), Future EO and ARTES 4.0 Scylight (SeCure and Laser communication Technology) have been collectively recognized as greatest matching Lithuanian capabilities. Vice Minister Gintaras Vilda, then answerable for innovation coverage, business and commerce, praised the cooperation with ESA and advocated that ‘new players, especially start-ups and SMEs, should be included in the existing value chains’.It is now envisaged to arrange a Business Incubation Centre, to show space-related enterprise concepts into business start-ups firms. In addition, an incentive scheme, within the type of Requesting Party Activities, goals at additional growing their industrial base, with the help of ESA consultants. Such technical help and experience have confirmed instrumental within the capability constructing course of, for the reason that first Cooperation Agreement concluded on 7 October 2010.

The key current competences in Lithuania may be summarised as follows: nanosatellites, propulsion system elements, infrared primarily based applied sciences, Earth commentary downstream functions, optoelectronics (specifically laser applied sciences and photonics), life sciences, bodily sciences, and radio frequency methods.Lithuania benefited from a big legacy in house R&D. The fourth oldest observatory in Europe, the Vilnius University Astronomical Observatory, was established in 1753. Lithuanian scientists and engineers participated in Soviet aerospace actions, by growing methods and components for the Mars programme, the Buran house shuttle, the Lunokhod rover, in addition to carrying plant analysis in scientific satellites Bion-10 and Bion-11 and the Salyut and Mir house stations.In the 1990s, the experience gained was utilized in NASA and ESA programmes. In specific, Lithuanian astronomers participated in Hipparcos, SOHO and Gaia, supplying an evaluation of the photometric methods, peculiar stars and interstellar extinction.The consolidation of the Lithuanian house sector began in 2007 when the National Space Technology Platform was established, adopted in 2009 by the organising of the Lithuanian Space Association (LSA).The first two Lithuanian self-made nanosatellites (LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1) have been launched in January 2014 to the International Space Station, then deployed that February by JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata. They examined new applied sciences previous to reentering Earth’s ambiance in September 2014. The third Lithuanian satellite tv for pc (LituanicaSAT-2) was launched on 23 June 2017 by an Indian PSLV-XL rocket.The Programme of Development of Research, Technologies and Innovation within the Aerospace Sector 2016-20 and its Action plan aimed toward growing a aggressive Lithuanian aerospace sector. The Research Council of Lithuania drafted, funded and coordinated the National Science Programme ‘Towards technologies of the Future’ (2015-20) for basic and utilized house analysis, with a view to making ready Lithuania for ESA’s membership.Entities such because the Baltic Institute of Advanced Technology, Geomatrix, NanoAvionika, Si Femto, Lidaris and others have proven capabilities in particular niches which might be of curiosity to ESA. As local weather change and ice monitoring are key considerations within the space, the Baltic initiative developed below ESA’s auspices intends to advertise synergies amongst regional companions for the event and particular use of house methods.ESA has now established formal relations with all of the states that acceded to the European Union since 2004, and are thereby related to the definition of an total European Space Policy and taking part with full rights and obligations within the EU Copernicus and Galileo programmes.Lithuania adopted Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Estonia, Slovenia and Latvia in becoming a member of the ECS standing, a body for cooperation courting again to 2001. The 5 first nations have change into Member States between 2008 and 2015, whereas Slovenia and Latvia turned Associate Members in 2016 and 2020 respectively. Lithuania was adopted as an ECS by Slovakia, Bulgaria and Cyprus, whereas Malta and Croatia have concluded basic Cooperation Agreements in 2012 and 2018.Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė stated, “I hope that our science and business will succeed to integrate smoothly into the ESA ecosystem to reinforce our cooperation and bring benefits to Lithuania, ESA and Europe as a whole. We look forward to creating new collaboration opportunities with ESA.”ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher stated, “On behalf of ESA Member States, I would like to congratulate Lithuania on becoming an Associate Member of the Agency. The expedited ratification of the Association Agreement, together with the already announced significant increase in funding of the related space activities, testifies to the strong political support of the Lithuanian authorities and parliamentarians. ESA is now very much looking forward to opening its optional programmes to the participation of Lithuanian industry.”

Further data

Nathalie Tinjod PECS Committee Secretary, ESA External Relations Department, Director General Services Nathalie.Tinjod@esa.int
Stephen AireyNew, Associate and Cooperating States Section, Department of Industrial Policy and Auditing, Directorate of Industry, Procurement and Legal ServicesStephen.Airey@esa.int

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