Edinburgh 18 May 2022. – State Secretary Martina Hirayama and Joseph Aschbacher, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between Switzerland and ESA establishing a joint Centre of Excellence at the Paul-Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland, ESA said.
The European Space Deep-Tech Innovation (ESDI) centre focuses on closing the gap between academic research and economic developments. It identifies challenges in space according to ESA’s or the space community’s needs. ESDI will establish thematic platforms, like material quality and innovation, quantum technologies, data management and processing, to overcome these challenges.
The centre will coordinate these platforms and facilitate projects by leveraging existing infrastructures with a network of European academic and industry partners. After the necessary ESA programmatic framework is agreed on at the upcoming ESA Council, engagement in the first projects can commence in 2023.
As a founding member of ESA, Switzerland contributes over €181 million to its programmes and activities each year.