Luxembourg and France today signed a new framework agreement aimed at strengthening and deepening cooperation between the two countries' space agencies and their space sector.
In 2009, the two countries signed a first framework agreement, which came to an end in 2015. This renewed collaboration reaffirms the will of France and Luxembourg to collaborate and makes a focus on the development of concrete bilateral projects. Dr. Marc Serres, CEO of the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Grand Duchy, whilst Dr Philippe Baptiste, Chairman and CEO of the National Centre for Space Studies (Centre national d'études spatiales - CNES), signed for France.
The framework agreement will serve as a basis to reinforce the favourable framework of cooperation, sharing of expertise and exchange of information between Luxembourg and France. It also aims at developing concrete cooperation activities including, for example, training initiatives for students and researchers, communication activities towards lay audiences or the joint organisation of seminars, workshops and symposiums. In particular, the space agencies will aim at increasing collaboration in the fields of space exploration and sustainable space resources utilisation. The two countries intend to further facilitate cooperation between the agencies, but also between national research institutes and private sector space companies.
The MoU is also aimed at strengthening policy coordination between the two countries on the European and international space stage.
Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, commented: "Since the signing of a first framework agreement in 2009, France and Luxembourg have been able to share expertise and conduct several workshops together. In the meantime, we have successfully launched the SpaceResources.lu initiative, the Luxembourg Space Agency and more recently the European Space Resources Innovation Center (ESRIC), which is why the establishment of a new framework agreement made sense. As a major player in space Europe, France has unparalleled know-how with CNES, which is why I am delighted with this agreement which will make it possible to strengthen cooperation between private and public entities of our two countries, with a particular focus on activities related to space resources".