The Italian contribution to the new cycle of programs of ESA, the European Space Agency, will be 3.1 billion euros over five years. After two days of negotiations at the Ministerial Council which took place in Paris, the overall budget of the 22 member states was defined. In total, this is 16.9 billion euros: an increase of about 17% compared to the result of the 2019 ministerial, while Italy has increased its contribution by about 20 percent.
D’Urso: Italy protagonist in the European space programmes
The commitment of each individual country effectively translates into orders for its own industry and is divided into compulsory and optional programmes. Overall, Italy is third behind Germany and France, and accounts for 18% of the global contribution of the 22 member states. In particular, the mandatory part provides for a contribution based on the Member State’s GDP. For optional projects instead, in this ministerial, Italy is in first place with about 2.5 billion euros in three years (the 600 million for the compulsory quota are spread over five years).
«We can say we are satisfied – he commented on the sidelines the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso – because we have protected the interests of research, innovation and the entire industrial chain made up of both large companies and our SMEs. Also thanks to the joint declaration with France and Germany, Italy will be able to play a leading role in European programs on space”.
New initiatives and programs resumed
Summarizing the general numbers, at ESA level 3.2 billion goes to the Science programme, 2.8 to space transport, 2.7 to human and robotic exploration, 2.7 to earth observation, 1.9 to telecommunications, 1. 6 billion to basic activities, 730 million to space safety, 542 million to technology, 351 million to navigation programs, 118 million to the development of scale-up companies, 237 million to the Prodex program. Overall, according to the Italian delegation, progress has been made on the balance in participation in projects with the main partner on the space economy, France, after the bilateral agreement between ministers Urso and Le Maire.
Giorgio Saccoccia, president of ASI (Italian Space Agency), who led the Italian representation together with Urso, underlines among other things “the resumption of the Martian exploration program, led by Italy, ExoMars, and the signing by the Italy of a new program, Moonlight, aimed at developing a lunar telecommunications and navigation system, as a new contribution to NASA’s Artemis program.