The European Space Agency (ESA) has included six applications from Lithuanian business and scientific institutions in the list of projects recommended for funding. The Lithuanian projects are set to receive up to €1 million in funding.
“The growth of the space sector is among our country’s top priorities. Lithuania has every reason to be proud of its achievements in space technology – we already are among the world leaders in laser technology, a recognized producer of nanosatellites and their components, and have made significant achievements in processing Earth observation data. This funding will help us become a major player in the global space industry, unlock our enormous potential and gain international recognition”, said Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister for Economy and Innovation.
The ESA will fund projects by Delta biosciences, Klaipėda University, Vilnius University, the Centre for Physical Sciences and Technology and two projects by Astrolight. The applicants intend to implement projects in areas of science and technology with the highest potential for the space sector.
The Space Hub group of the Innovation Agency, which is responsible for facilitating the Lithuanian space ecosystem, has been instrumental in bringing these Lithuanian projects to the European Space Agency (ESA) negotiating table. The Space Hub group organises regular events and meetings with ESA representatives to attract new companies to the space sector and help Lithuania’s space sector grow.
“We are delighted that Lithuanian organisations are becoming increasingly involved and taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the European Space Agency and that as many as six Lithuanian business and science proposals have now been included in the list of recommended projects for funding and have become the subject of negotiations by the European Space Agency for further implementation. It is particularly encouraging that Lithuania’s life sciences sector is finally moving into the space industry, as the importance of this sector in space is growing. We hope that this example will be a great incentive for other companies in the life sciences sector to become more interested in expanding their activities in space”, says Paulius Petrauskas, Director of the Innovation Agency’s Breakthrough Department.
Lithuania has set a target to grow its space sector tenfold to 1% of GDP by 2027. The number of space companies in Lithuania is expected to grow more than 2.5 times in 5 years to reach around 80 companies.