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Denmark invests millions in space

Denmark is contributing DKK 257 million to the European Space Agency’s voluntary programmes over the next three years.

Nov 21, 2012

At the ESA ministerial conference in Naples on 20 and 21 November, Denmark decided that it will contribute DKK 257 million to the European Space Agency (ESA). A total of 20 member countries in the ESA agreed to invest up to €10 billion in the ESA over the next three years.

Higher Education Minister Morten Østergaard is delighted with the outcome of the conference.

– The Danish pledge is a good investment that will help strengthen advanced technology research and innovation in Denmark, retain our strong position within the development and production of space technology and create important new workplaces, says Morten Østergaard.

The Danish pledge encompassed continued participation in known Danish areas of strength such as earth observation and climate monitoring, launchers, the international space station, telecommunications (ARTES) and technology development (GSTP).

In addition, Denmark has decided to contribute to the development of mew meteorological satellites in cooperation with the European meteorological organisation EUMETSAT and in the ESA's new programme, Space Situation Awareness that ensures research in and warnings of solar flares’ effect on the security of supply infrastructure.

Knowledge of the Earth’s magnetic field is crucial in this regard. And Danish researchers are traditionally well-versed in this field – for example, in connection with the Danish Ørsted satellite that has been mapping the Earth’s magnetic field for the last 13 years.

The allocation of the Danish contribution take place on the advice from the higher education minister’s advisory space committee comprised of researchers, public authorities and space-related companies.

The committee’s chairman is Professor Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard from Aarhus University:

– I believe that we have achieved a good and well-considered recommendation to the minister. The recommendation from the space committee is based on a solid balancing of how Denmark best ensures the benefit of Danish space participation via the ESA’s programmes. It has not been easy when economic conditions are taken into account, but I believe that the balanced view of Danish research, technological and public sector stakeholders has been achieved, says Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard.

In addition to the allocation of member contributions to the ESA’s existing programmes, a decision was also taken on a new generation of the Ariane launcher, Ariane-6, as well as fixing the ESA’s overall budget and the basic scientific programme at the 2013 level until 2017.

For more information about the ESA and the conference:

For further information please contact:

Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation: Head of Division Peter Sloth, tel.+45 7231 8290, e-mail pesl@fi.dk .

Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation: Senior Adviser Gorm Kofoed Petersen, tel.+45 7231 8287, e-mail gpe@fi.dk.

Press Officer Ingeborg Nielsen, tel.+45 2211 0200

last modified Feb 10, 2013