New EU space agency to have seat in Czechia as of 2021



12. 12. 2019 • 10:55

The future European Union (EU) Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), based on the existing GSA agency, will be headquartered in Czechia as of 2021 and will hire 600 new employees to about 700 in total, Transport Ministry representatives told journalists. 


Based in Prague, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) has been managing Europe's own global satellite navigation system Galileo.

The new agency will be in charge of Copernicus which, along with Galileo, have become global references in satellite positioning and earth observation, and of the governmental satellite communications initiative Govsatcom, among others.

This year, the EU proposed to raise the budget for its 2021-2027 space programme by 30 percent to EUR16bn (over Kc410bn).

The Czech cabinet has recently approved a Transport Ministry proposal under which it will invest about Kc1.205bn in space activities a year, Kc275m more than it has invested so far.

It wants Czechia to be no longer seen as a low-cost economy and a country of industrial assembly halls.

Some 50 firms are taking part in the space programme in Czechia, which includes the production of solar panels with folding structures for satellites, adapters to launch small satellites from Vega rocket, optical systems and air traffic management systems in Europe, for example.

There is an over eightfold return on space investments, the Transport Ministry said in its analyses.

More than 20 start-ups using space technology have developed in Czechia thanks to an ESA BIC business incubator. In its three-year history, the firms acquired Kc210m worth of private investments. The cost of the ESA BIC project is Kc70m by 2021. The firms generate profits from sales of their products.