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. Since 2007, Romania contributes to the ESA budget as an European Cooperating State (PECS), status ratified by Law no. 1/2007.
Starting December 22, 2011, Romania has became the 19th member of the European Space Agency.
An important step in the accession process was to conduct a technical audit on the relevant entities in Romania (institutes, research centers, industrial companies and SMEs), which have space technological capabilities. The audit was conducted by ESA, based on a sample of 130 entities, for 50 of them being organized technical visits and interviews.
The full member state of the European Space Agency status gives to the organizations in Romania acces, in the same way with the ESA countries, to all programs run, and this is an important technology transfer and the opening of a high-tech market. Also, the intellectual property is maintained at a national level, having an important role in the establishment of competence in the country.
Image credit: The European Space Agency (ESA)