Canadian Space Agency Strengthens Long-Term Partnership with European Space Agency to Support Innovation and Science

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Friday, December 2, 2016

The European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) member states and cooperating states gathered in Lucerne, Switzerland, to make important investment decisions regarding Europe’s future space activities.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) President Sylvain Laporte confirmed the Government of Canada’s increased contribution to key ESA programmes.

To support innovation and evidence-based science in Canada’s space sector, Canada will be investing approximately $83 million (€53.6 million) in three programmes. The investment includes an additional $30 million announced in Budget 2016 for ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme.

The investment, in addition to strengthening the long-term partnership with ESA, is one that will support cutting-edge research and industry growth.

The Canada–ESA Cooperation Agreement has enabled Canadian industry, universities and scientists to develop strategic partnerships in the global space sector by participating in ESA space missions for more than 35 years. Through this collaboration, the Canadian space sector also gains access to data from ESA missions and infrastructure. As a result of the government’s continued investment, Canada will be able to use space to drive broader economic growth and leverage space for the benefit of all Canadians.

Quick facts

  • Formal cooperation between Canada and ESA began in 1979 with the signing of the first Cooperation Agreement. This agreement has since been renewed four times.
  • ESA Council Meetings at Ministerial Level occur every three to four years. They gather member states and cooperating states to confirm their investments in ongoing and future ESA programmes. Canada is ESA’s only non-European cooperating state.
  • The contribution to ARTES, the Earth Observation Envelope Programme, and the General Support Technology Programme will be distributed over the next seven years.
  • The Canadian space sector generates important socio-economic benefits including $5.4 billion in revenue, a GDP impact of $2.9 billion, and a workforce of 10,000 Canadians. 


“Canada’s space program is, in effect, a research and innovation program. It leverages the benefits of space for all Canadians. The technologies designed for today’s space program can be applied tomorrow to our everyday lives and raise the living standards of all Canadians. The Canadian Space Agency’s participation in the European Space Agency’s programmes ensures that our country’s space industry remains dynamic and competitive in a rapidly evolving global market.” 

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Canada’s continued participation in the European Space Agency’s programmes will contribute to the growth of Canada’s space industry, including the creation of highly skilled jobs, and provide access to international space missions and global markets.”

Sylvain Laporte, President, Canadian Space Agency


Cooperation Agreement between Canada and the European Space Agency

// end //

More news releases and status reports or top stories.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.