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The first agreement between Romania and the European Space Agency (ESA) was signed in 1992, followed in 1999 by the Romania-ESA Agreement on cooperation in the peaceful exploration and use of space. Starting in 2007, Romania contributed to the ESA budget as an European Cooperating State (PECS), status ratified by Law no. 1/2007.

Starting with 22 December 2011, Romania became the 19th Member State of the European Space Agency.

An important step in the accession process was a technical audit of the relevant entities in Romania (institutes, research centres, industrial companies and SMEs), which have space technological capabilities. The audit was conducted by ESA, based on a sample of 130 entities, with technical visits and interviewsorganised at 50 of them.

The full ESA Member State status gave Romanian organisations equal access to all ESA programmes — an important technology transfer process and the opening of a high-tech market. At the same time, the intellectual property rights are preserved at national level, playing an important role in competence development and keepingin the country.

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More details about the Romania - ESA collaboration can be accessed here.

Image credit: The European Space Agency (ESA)