Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency, signed a new Cooperation Agreement that will extend the partnership between ESA and Canada until 2020.The two space agencies have enjoyed a 30-year partnership that has led to many successful space projects and they will continue to build on their shared interests.

ESA and Canada have joined forces in telecommunications, including Olympus, Artemis and Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES); Earth observation, including ERS, Envisat and Global Monitoring for Environment & Security (GMES); navigation, including Galileo; and related technologies, such as the General Support Technology Programme.

The benefits of the ESA-Canada relationship extend beyond good cooperation between the two space agencies. European and Canadian companies have forged strong alliances, creating teaming arrangements and opportunities for new markets.

"With this signature today, we are opening a new chapter that will offer opportunities for Canadian contributions to ESA's programmes and ESA contributions to Canadian programmes," said Dordain. "It will build a bridge across the Atlantic that is even more solid, and that will allow us to draw on our respective strengths and expertise while taking into account our respective evolutions."