Pappas and head of ESA sign agreement for centre to assist high-tech start-ups

Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Minister Nikos Pappas and the head of the European Space Agency (ESA) Johann Dietrich Woerner on Monday signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Greek government and the ESA at the Greek ministry in Athens for the foundation of a Business Incubation Centre (BIC). The aim of the BIC is to support start-ups active in the new technologies sector.

The minister hailed the signature of the agreement as an important step and said that Greece was recovering in a sector that had been ignored by previous governments.

“The country can once again win the wager in this sector also,” Pappas noted, adding that Greece has the scientists that will allow it to take the lead in areas such as space technology, agriculture, shipping and others.

Woerner said it was important to support Greek new technology start-ups and pointed out that businesses that worked with the ESA will have an opportunity to tap into significant financial resources and valuable knowhow, which aim at their rapid development.

A memorandum of cooperation was also signed on Monday between the Telecommunications and Post Secretary General Vassilis Maglaras and Fritz Merkle, a member of the executive board of the German company OHB.

The agreement concerns the launch of OHB’s activity in Greece via the foundation of a company with the participation of the Greek state. The aim is the participation of the Greek company in the construction of satellites and other space systems that will also involve other Greek companies, in the context of national, European and international programmes.

OHB is one of the top three European companies in the space sector and its main activity is the construction of low-orbit satellites and geostatic satellites.