Today the government approved a new National Space Plan for the period of 2020 – 2025, which builds on the government’s effort to support the development of the space industry and excellence in science. The Ministry of Transport wants to support further growth of the space industry through a new space plan so that Czech companies can supply more complex components of satellites and launchers, such as whole instruments or satellite platforms. We also want to focus on supporting innovation, education in technical subjects, technology transfer, promoting promising ideas and their marketing and closer cooperation between universities and industry.
The National Space Plan 2020 is a strategy of the Czech Republic for the development of capacities and capabilities of its industry and academic sphere in the field of space activities. The aim is to ensure competitiveness and maximize the return of public investment in space activities and related areas.
For these purposes we managed to allocate another CZK 275 mil. per year to strengthen the Czech Republic’s participation in programmes of the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA programmes are the main instrument for the development of the Czech space industry and scientific excellence in space science.
The main objectives of the National Space Plan 2020 are:
1) Building Czech space capacities and capacities to increase excellence and competitiveness. We want to continue to create suitable environment that has helped Czech companies and the academic sphere keep up with current trends, be innovative, disruptive, excellent, create, protect and exploit intellectual property rights, and enhance cooperation between the academic sphere and industry while respecting their natural roles. We also want to create synergies between companies and between small and middle companies and large industry, maximize the return of investments, stimulate private investment in space activities, and stimulate and accelerate transfer of technology and knowledge. We emphasize the common use of satellite systems in everyday applications.
2) An active position in international relations should help increase the visibility of the Czech Republic. Strengthening bilateral cooperation with space powers, in particular from among European countries. The Czech Republic should try to help looking for generally acceptable solutions that would support international cooperation.
Space activities are all state, industrial and scientific activities that aim to exploit the possibilities and opportunities that the space offers. These include satellite navigation, satellite telecommunications, Earth observation, space transport (especially launchers), observation of the near surroundings of the Earth and space weather, robotic and manned space exploration, space science (all disciplines of space-based astronomical observations, microgravity research, effects of space environment) or applications and services related to the use of the collected data.
The Czech Republic implements most of its space activities through the European Space Agency (ESA), which it joined as a full member at the end of 2008. Since then, there has been a significant increase in the participation of Czech companies in space projects. Nowadays (2019), Czech companies are recognized members of international supply chains in the production of launchers, satellites and ground segments.
Without participation in ESA projects it is practically impossible to get into the supply chains of e.g. Airbus, Thales, OHB or other large companies.
In the period of 2008 – 2018 Czech companies and universities implemented 350 projects.
Since 2011, the Ministry of Transport has been responsible for space activities. It pays a vast majority of the Czech Republic’s contributions to ESA and creates conditions for the development of space activities in the Czech Republic.