NEWS

03.12.2010

European Space Agency selects and confirms ten Slovenian proposals

In January this year, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Gregor Golobič, signed an agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA) under which Slovenia was granted the status of a participating country. This agreement represented the first concrete step towards cooperation between Slovenia and ESA. In March 2010, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MHEST) prepared an information day in Ljubljana, for companies and knowledge institutions, at which ESA representatives informed participants about cooperation possibilities. In the same month, MHEST published a public call for project proposals to determine priority fields within ESA's Plan for a European Cooperating State (PECS). It was concluded on 20 May 2010. The main objective of PECS is to connect the Republic of Slovenia with the Agency's programmes and activities and to prepare the country effectively for potential subsequent accession to the ESA Convention.

 

 

 

Fifty-eight applicants responded to the public call for proposals, who submitted duly completed forms. Among the 58 proposals put forward, 5 % of applicants were private sector entities, while the remaining applicants came from the public sector. The majority of proposals were submitted by the Josef Stefan Institute (39%) and the University of Ljubljana (23%), followed by the University of Nova Gorica (11%) and the University of Maribor (7%).  The majority of the project proposals put forward related to the Agency's programmes in the fields of science and technology (59%), earth observation (12%) and space science and space situational awareness (9%).
 
MHEST communicated the received proposals to ESA. The Slovenian proposals submitted under the public call were there subjected to an evaluation procedure and review.  ESA selected and confirmed ten proposals, worth EUR 2,315,000. On 30 November 2010, at Brdo pri Kranju, Minister Gregor Golobič and ESA Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations, Peter Hulsroj, signed the ECS Charter – Plan for a European Cooperating State, which specifies the selected and approved Slovenian projects to be funded by ESA.

 

All further procedures related to the implementation of projects will be managed by ESA.  Among the 10 selected proposals, 10 % were submitted by private sector entities, while 90% came from the public sector. The majority of selected proposals were submitted by the University of Ljubljana (45 %) and the Josef Stefan Institute (33 %), followed by the University of Nova Gorica and the University of Maribor (11 % each).  The majority of the selected project proposals related to the Agency's programme of science and technology (50%), while all other fields were represented in an equal proportion.

 

Selected project proposals will be funded from the membership fee paid by Slovenia under the agreement with ESA within PECS. The estimated value of the annually available funds is EUR 1,250,000.00. The main aim of PECS is to connect the Republic of Slovenia with the Agency's programmes and activities and to prepare the country effectively for potential subsequent accession to the ESA Convention.  MHEST will therefore consider project proposals submitted to it in determining basic priority areas in order to enhance cooperation between the Republic of Slovenia and the European Space Agency.

 

The public call for the second round of ESA projects is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2011.