Switzerland to host European space technology centre
Switzerland has signed an agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA) to host a centre of excellence for developing space technology.
The European Space Deep-Tech Innovation (ESDI) centre will be set up at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), which is part of the leading Swiss technology establishments known collectively as the ETH Domain.
On Tuesday, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between ESA and PSI to advance progress in areas such as material research, data management and processing, quantum technologies and sustainable space ecosystems.
The detailed plan of research will be presented to the ESA Council in November with the aim of starting work on projects next year.
The ESDI will help Switzerland “engage even more strongly in space, and to contribute its share in the efforts to rise to and overcome the many challenges Europe faces,” said a government press releaseExternal link.
Switzerland is a founding member of ESA and contributes CHF190 million ($189 million) to its programmes and activities every year.
Swiss contributions to space exploration and technology have notched up some impressive projects over the decades.
In 2019, for example, the first European satellite ‘Made in Switzerland’, called CHEOPSExternal link, was launched to explore exoplanets.
The European-American Solar Orbiter probeExternal link took off from Florida the following year with a Swiss X-ray telescope on board to study the Sun close up.
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