Last Friday (23.10) in Athens, Minister for Research and Innovation Costas Fotakis and France's Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales’ President Jean-Yves Le Gall signed an agreement to establish closer ties in space between France and Greece, in the presence of President François Hollande who was making a state visit to Greece. The agreement strengthens cooperative ties between France and Greece in space, especially at industry level.
Exchanges between the two nations have stepped up significantly over the last two years and to this end, a French-Greek working group was set up at the start of this year to examine opportunities for cooperation and to nurture industrial agreements, leading up to a French-Greek space industry event
in Toulouse earlier this month. 41 companies and research entities from the two countries discussed cooperation capabilities and networked through 130 bilateral meetings, while representatives from European Space Agency
presented new initiatives for supporting the development of SMEs in the Space sector
, a policy issue of particular importance for Greece.
As a member of the European Space Agency, Greece is fully aligned with the European Space Policy and participates in several space programmes and research undertakings.
A new-born and fast-growing Greek cluster of enterprises investing in space-related technologies (Hellenic Space Technologies and Applications Cluster, si-Cluster
) has been running since 2012 in the context of Corallia Clusters Initiative
, a larger cutting edge tech cluster based in Athens and Patras
President Hollande visited last Friday the office of Corallia Clusters Initiative where further strengthening of cooperation was announced in the field of microelectronics between the French cluster Minalogic and mi-Cluster
(Corallia). The clusters signed an MoU about doing cross-fertilization activities, as planned within the Silicon Europe Alliance