On June 11, 2019 Ambassador Kaili Terras and the employees of the embassy visited the European Space Agency (ESA), which is the European window opening to the outer space. The delegation was warmly welcomed by the Head of the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) Franco Ongaro, an Estonian representative responsible for the industrial policy of new members Gertrud Talvik and the leader of the innovation and business incubators project Stefan Gustafsson.
Estonia joined ESA in 2015, we are one of the 22 member states. The activities of ESA are financed by membership fees, the contribution of Estonia amounted to 2,6 mil in 2018. The basis for ESA´s work is a geographical return principle, which means that each member state receives investments through space industry contracts and space programs in an amount more or less equivalent to its membership fee. Estonia positively stands out as a state with a high return percentage, which is generally not so common for new members. The brightest success stories include solutions created in the framework of the ESA programs by CGI Eesti, Datel and Skeleton Technologies. There is a business incubator of ESA (ESA BIC Estonia) located in Tartu, Estonia (https://www.esabic.ee), which aims to inspire and support companies to create and develop new space-related products and services. At this point 8 Estonian start-up´s are situated in the incubator. Good luck in conquering the space!