Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports continues to fund ESA space R&D

On the occasion of the European Space Agency’s Council Meeting CM22, held at the Ministerial Level from 22nd to 23rd November 2022 in Paris, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS) committed to continue its contribution to the ESA R&D programmes that will reach up to CZK 360 mil. per year in total.

The MEYS’s yearly contribution to the ESA’s Science Programme and Basic Activities will increase from EUR 9.4 mil. in 2022 to almost EUR 10.8 mil. in 2022. The aim of the gradual increase is to enable in the current environment of high inflation to prepare the ESA’s scientific missions at the planned frequency. Czech research organisations and companies are currently participating in a number of ESA’s Science Programme missions, such as Solar Orbiter, JUICE, ATHENA, PLATO, Comet Interceptor, eXTP or ARIEL.

MEYS will extend its contribution to the PRODEX programme of EUR 2.3 mil. per year, which is focused on the development of scientific instrumentation for space science missions, until 2028. The Czech participation in PRODEX programme enables Czech research institutes, in cooperation with businesses, to become even more involved in the cutting-edge scientific projects, using the most advanced technologies that help foster Czech space industry.

MEYS will also continue to contribute around EUR 0.8 mil. per year to the Guiana Space Centre, critical infrastructure ensuring European independent access to space. Moreover, MEYS will finance the participation of the Czech Republic in the Space Safety programme focused on the development of the European space safety system. The contribution of MEYS will also enable Czech entities to take part in the preparation of ESA’s mission for operational monitoring of space weather VIGIL. The aim of the service is to reduce the risks and costs for – not only – space infrastructure around the Earth related to space environment. The MEYS’s contribution to the programme will be in a total of EUR 1.5 mil.

The purpose of ESA is to ensure and promote cooperation between European countries in the field of space research and technology development for exclusively peaceful purposes and their space applications with a view to their use for scientific purposes and functional space application systems. The ESA was established in 1975. The Czech Republic has been a Member State of ESA since 2008.

The Ministry of Transport (MT) is in charge of coordinating the cooperation of the Czech Republic with ESA. MT finances other ESA programmes close to industrial targets, totalling approx. CZK 1.2 billion per year. The ESA’s R&D programmes are financed by MEYS.

Ministerial ESA Council CM22 (source: ESA)