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GSA brought CZK 800 million to Czech Republic, says GSA head

30 November 2016

Prague, Nov 29 (CTK) - The seat of the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) in Prague has brought around 800 million crowns to the Czech economy in the past four years, its executive director Carlo Des Dorides told reporters on Tuesday.

The number of Czech firms seeking the funding from European sources for the satellite navigation research and development and thereby also the volume of finances from the EC for domestic firms has increased almost ten times since the GSA moved from Brussels to Prague in 2012.

The GSA is the only European agency seated in the Czech Republic. Czechs primarily profit from the cooperation on the projects of the development of satellite navigation applications.

The GSA is prepared to launch the Galileo system for Europe, Dorides said.

Karel Dobes, vice-president of the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Crafts in the Czech Republic and spokesman for the Transport Ministry's coordination council for space activities, said the state was trying to find suitable opportunities for Czech firms to participate in the testing and development as well as the production of the commodities and not to be "mere assembly plants."

On Monday, the government approved a higher financial contribution of 840 million crowns to the European Space Agency (ESA) for next year.

The Ariane 5 rocket propelled four Galileo satellites into the orbit of the Earth on November 17 and thus the number of satellites rose to 18 and the launching of the system's primary services approached, the GSA management pointed out.

The main aim of the GSA is to secure that the European satellite navigation programmes, Galileo and EGNOS, meet the users' needs all over the world and bring economic and social benefits.

The GSA was established as the EU's official and largest technological agency in 2004. It is also its first agency to focus on the provision of "satellite services" for the whole world. Almost 150 people from 21 countries work in the agency in Prague.

The GSA organises Open House Days for the public on December 2-3.

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