Last week the delegation of the European Space Agency (ESA) visited Slovenia and met with the representatives of the Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport to discuss opportunities for the Slovenian Space industry as well as to determine the further necessary steps to full ESA membership.
Slovenia's space sector has been growing rapidly since joining ESA in 2016. In the statement for the media, Minister Matjaž Han said: "Among Slovenia's greatest successes, we can count the fact that Slovenia has three satellites in space and that the launch of the fourth satellite is planned for the next year. The space sector is definitely the sector of the future. It is not just astronauts and rockets, these technologies are embedded in science, economy, medicine, telecommunications, environment and more."
According to the minister Han, the associate membership in ESA and the activities of the Slovenian space office, which was established at the already mentioned ministry, are already showing results. “This is evident from the fact that Slovene companies already signed more than 70 contracts at the agency's tenders and the funds acquired by the companies within the framework of the ESA programs thus exceed the funds paid in by Slovenia.” Through the activities carried out by the Slovenian Space Office in the last period, Slovenia is also strengthening bilateral cooperation in the field of space with countries such as Italy, France, Germany and the USA.
At the meeting with the minister, the ESA delegation praised the work done by Slovenia. "Although Slovenia is geographically small, its successes in the field of space technologies and space is big," said Geraldin Naja, director of Commercialisation, Industry and Competitiveness at ESA. Among other companies and fields, ESA sees SkyLabs as a leading company in Slovenia in the field of satellite avionics.
"In the future, long-term investments in space and a clear space strategy, which Slovenia is currently preparing, will be necessary," explained the head of the Slovenian space office, Tanja Permozer. Among other things, the strategy will include directions and support for the further strengthening of the space sector in Slovenia for the period up to 2030. According to the ministry's plans, the Slovenian space strategy will be adopted by the end of this year.
Information and photos source: Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport