Estonia’s cooperation with the European Space Agency began with signing a framework cooperation agreement in 2007.
In 2008, ESA carried out a technology audit in Estonia, to find out what Estonian companies have to offer.
In 2010, Estonia started their 5-year cooperation with ESA. This contract allows Estonian companies and research institutions to participate in high-tech research projects through ESA orders. Estonian PhD students are given the opportunity to practice at ESA.
Estonia committed to contribute approximately 1.2 million euros per year to the ESA budget. As part of the cooperation contract, 12 Estonia-related space development projects have been initiated since 2011 (so-called PECS-1 projects).
When the ESA Cooperation Agreement with Estonia ends in 2015, Estonia has the opportunity to extend the contract or apply for a full membership with ESA. The latter has been set as a target. This would allow Estonian companies and research institutions to participate more broadly in ESA
projects, providing opportunities to create new high-tech jobs.
In addition to cooperation with ESA, Estonia is also a member of the European Meteorological Satellite Network EUMETSAT, ESO, IAF and EURISY.
Via the European Union budget, Estonia contributes into the European Union Common Space development project and the development of its basic infrastructure.
Estonia also participates in the preparatory work of the European Union Environment and Security Monitoring Program Copernicus and the Satellite Navigation Program Galileo. Since 2009, the three Baltic States have cooperated in the context of the Baltic Space Roundtable.