Malta launches space policy for satellite systems

Malta Council for Science and Technology to provide fund for research and development in space technology and telecoms

A fund from the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) will support industries pursuing research and technology in the area of “space” for telecommunications and television, which also includes satellite systems.

The national space policy was launched by parliamentary secretary Chris Agius and MCST executive chairman Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando.

Agius said “space” dealt with more complex issues that often deal with  telecommunication systems and TV among other things.

He said the policy would be the basis to exploit further the new niche of space as an economic contributor.

“This is only the beginning and this policy requires a good deal of work. The government believes in the potential of this project and the new opportunities that will be created,” Agius said.

Pullicino Orlando added that the policy will appeal to various industries in the country specialising the sector. The MCST will provide a monitored fund to support research in the sector.

Nadine Castillo, Director Policy, Strategy and Programmes said that the aim of the policy is to better co-ordinate the activities currently being undertaken, as well as to present a common front om an EU and international level and to increase efficiency by avoiding any replication of work and effort.

Castillo explained that the National Space Policy emphasises the downstream sector, which sector is thought to be better suited to Malta’s present (early) endeavours in space activities. Malta’s National Space Policy also identifies niche economic activities which the country should focus on.  Castillo also referred to the cooperation agreement with the European Space Agency, which Malta has had for the past few years.

Through this policy, Malta will seek to further strengthen the relationships both with the ESA and with other related European and international institutions.

By Stefan Galea