Iceland to become a member of the European Space Agency

Mission Control Room of ESA.

Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, voted last week to have the minister of foreign affairs apply, on Iceland’s behalf, for membership to the European Space Agency (ESA).

IIIM supports Parliament’s application and believes it would open up new opportunities in research and co-operation in the high tech sector.

Space agencies around the world are at the forefront of designing and utilizing high technology. Astrological research, space travel, the design and management of space stations, energy research and theories about the origin of the universe all build on the latest technology, especially software. In space science software is necessary for data collection and data processing, the making of simulations, autonomous steering of vehicles, laser beams, telescopes and measuring equipment.

In Iceland the availability of studies in the high tech field is in many ways not matched with equal job opportunities in this sector. A membership of ESA would strengthen Iceland’s position in this field and thus strengthen the local knowledge-based society. It would further increase the likelihood that local startup companies would find and outlet for their operations and that Icelandic ideas would be noticed in the international field. 

Here you can read IIIM’s comments on Althingi’s proposal in Icelandic.