Finland’s funding in the European Space Agency promotes security, sustainable growth and climate change mitigation
The Ministerial Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) was held in Paris on 22–23 November 2022. At the Ministerial Council, which is organised every three years, the Member States decide on the priorities, programmes and funding of ESA’s activities for the coming years.
“Space activities play an increasingly important strategic role for the functioning of society and national security. Finland has invested more in space activities in recent years. We already benefit significantly from our expertise. ESA is our key tool for developing international cooperation,” Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä says.
Finland has been a full member of the ESA since 1995. Finland participates in ESA’s voluntary programmes with a contribution of EUR 17.7 million per year. The selected programmes promote themes important to Finland, such as climate change mitigation, the development of the Arctic region, the sustainable use of space, the development of satellite communications, autonomous transport and cyber security. In the programme selections, Finland emphasised the access of start-ups to supply European space solutions. Finland will also join the ESA’s programme of human space flights, but not take part in the development of launch vehicles.
In addition, Finland participates directly in programmes that are mandatory under the ESA Convention. These include several key science projects conducted as part of the Science Programme. Finland’s annual contribution to the mandatory programmes will increase from the current EUR 12.5 million to approximately EUR 13.8 million.
According to ESA’s Industrial Policy, contributions are returned to the Member State in the form of contracts awarded to companies, research institutes and higher education institutions. At the moment, Finland receives a larger number of contracts from ESA than the value of its contribution, which shows that Finnish operators are competitive. In addition, the funding enables the use of common research infrastructure and test environments. One of the measures included in the national space strategy, which was updated in 2018, is making more active use of ESA programmes.
In addition, the selection of ESA astronauts was announced in connection with the meeting. More than 300 Finnish people participated in the selection process in spring 2021.
Jenni Tapio, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 04 7089
Kimmo Kanto, Finland’s Head Delegate in ESA Council, Business Finland, tel. +358 295 05 5000