Belgian Science Policy
Belgian Science Policy
On the 3rd of October 1997, Belgium and Argentina concluded an agreement to set up the frame of their cooperation in the space activities area. This constitutes an institutional base for cooperation between scientists and/of industrials in the field of space sciences and technologies, of Earth Observation and Telecoms. The partner of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office for the implementation and the coordination of projects in the frame of this agreement is CoNAE (Argentinian Commission for space activities).
Read more on the CoNAE website...
SPOT and SPOT-vegetation
Belgium has been co-operating with France on Earth Observation since 1979. This co-operation takes the form of an intergovernmental agreement on the development of the SPOT 1 satellite, launched in 1986, and its successors. Sweden is also co-operating in this programme. The agreement implementation is entrusted to the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office and to the CNES (French National Space Research Centre). The SPOT programme targets the distribution and exploitation of satellite imagery: the data are distributed via a private firm, Spot-Image, a French company specifically created for this purpose. Spot-Image is based in Toulouse and is open to international capital (including the Belgian State and several national manufacturers). In addition, Belgium joined the French programme for Earth Observation "Pléiades" in 2004. Belgium participation into the Pléiades programme and its high level are based on the one hand upon industrial interests and on the other upon the necessity to get a permanent and continuous access to satellite high resolution imagery. This availability is an important factor of Belgium's positionning in the European project GMES (global Monitoring for the Environment and Security.
Read more on the CNES website...
Read more on the Pléiades website...
Read more on the CTIV website...
Cooperation with Russia in the space sector
On 20 December 2000, a cooperation agreement was signed in Moscow between the Belgian Government and the Russian Government on the exploration and use of outer space. This agreement constitutes the third international bilateral treaty signed by Belgium in the space research and applications sphere. This agreement falls within the framework of general action on the part of Russia aimed at strengthening its cooperation with Europe in this sphere. In addition to this bilateral instrument, Belgium will also be able to cooperate indirectly with Russia by way of a future agreement between the Federation and the European Space Agency (ESA).
On the Belgian side, following the example of the rest of European industry, interest is being focused chiefly on access to existing technologies, but also on involvement in research as well as developments within the framework of Russian space programmes. For their part, the Russians are endeavouring to export a number of proven technologies, but also and above all to forge alliances with Belgian institutional and industrial partners, chiefly in order to access European projects and programmes. Furthermore, the know-how of several centres of excellence in cutting-edge space research spheres in Belgium is recognised and highly prized by Russian scientists and manufacturers.
The aim of the agreement is to introduce a legal framework that will allow institutional cooperation to be systematised between the two parties. The areas of cooperation are:
> Astrophysics and astronomy;
> Remote sensing and Earth observation;
> Material studies (e.g. fluids);
> Space medicine and biology;
> Space telecommunications and associated services;
> Satellite navigation and associated services;
> Inhabited space transport, astronautics and ground
> Launchers and associated services;
> Valorisation of products derived from space technology;
> Protection of the space environment (space debris, etc.).