Péter Szijjártó announces space agreement with Thales Alenia Space in Cannes

In a joint statement on Tuesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space, announced the signing of a strategic agreement on space cooperation.

Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67 percent) and Leonardo (33 percent). The company delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science, and orbital infrastructures.

About half of the equipment onboard the International Space Station comes from Thales Alenia Space, and two out of every three aircraft are equipped with the company’s solutions. The space industry is one of the breakthrough sectors of the Hungarian economy, which is why it is important to develop the sector further.

According to the statement, the agreement reached will see the launch of joint research and development projects; the company will also provide training for Hungarian space industry specialists and help Hungarian companies participate in the largest satellite programs in Europe and even the world.

The expansion of the program will help the Hungarian economy restart quickly, maintain its growth rate in the long term, and ensure that the added value and technological level of the Hungarian economy remain high over the long term, Szijjártó stressed. 

This direction is not without precedent because although few people know it, Hungary has already accumulated “considerable capacities and expertise” in space research and the space industry. As he said, several Hungarian companies are involved in important space industry projects and developments, and many satellites orbiting Earth carry Hungarian technology, for example, in the field of insulation.

According to a statement on the Thales group website, “The collaboration with Thales Alenia Space will also contribute to the increase of the professional qualifications of the Hungarian workforce and thus to the development of the Hungarian space industry’s competencies.” The agreement is part of the Hungarian Government’s plan to increase Hungary’s economic development by developing high value-added sectors, such as the space industry, support for research and development, and the encouragement of international cooperation in this field. In this respect, the space industry was named in 2020 by the Hungarian government to be one of the “Industries of the Future” in the Economic Protection Action Plan.

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