Bulgaria will Participate with 14 Projects at the European Space Agency
Europe must continue to maintain its leading position in space technology and innovation, increase its share of world markets and take advantage of the opportunities that space policy development provides. This was stated by the Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov during the official opening of the Regional Seminar "Space Based Services for Development of Regional Strategies in the Digital Economy: Balkan and Black Sea Prospects".
Minister Karanikolov explained that with the signing of the European Cooperative Country Agreement and participation in the European Cooperative Country Plan 2015, Bulgaria has increased its development potential for SMEs and has improved the prospects for investing in the space industry. He added that a total of 34 project proposals have been submitted so far, out of which a total of 14 projects have been approved. "Since the first tender procedure for EKA for Bulgaria, 5 projects have been implemented and the second group of approved projects are 9, which are currently in the contracting stage." The third tender procedure for Bulgaria was opened on 12 February 2018 and ended on 13 April 2018 "As expected, the number of approved project proposals will be increased," Karanikolov said.
The Minister of Economy said the projects developed under the ESA's programs demonstrated opportunities to support policies for blue growth, agriculture, water management and security and stability. In his words, space services and activities contribute significantly to the development of the digital economy by providing innovative services and large volumes of data.
"The Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU makes the necessary efforts to pursue the debate on the future of European space policy, as the success of the European Copernicus, Galileo and EGNOS programs, their continuity and development are essential to ensure strategic independence of the EU, "Karanikolov stressed. He added that he considered the event as a stage in the joint commitment to an ever wider and more active debate on the future of European space policy. This is the first of its kind to be held in Bulgaria as a result of the joint work of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Ministry of Economy. The seminar is held under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union thanks to the support of the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
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