Today, Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Raul Siem and Chairman of the Council of the Estonian Defence Industry Association Taavi Veskimägi signed a mutual understanding and cooperation agreement with the aim of improving cooperation between the state and companies in promoting the Estonian space industry.
According to Siemi, this is an important step in achieving the goals of Estonian space policy in order to create a favorable environment for the local industrial sector for the development of high-tech business. “Such cooperation helps to increase the added value and export capacity of companies and to create preconditions for the creation of new smart jobs in Estonia,” said Siem. “Through joint cooperation, we create better opportunities for Estonian space and defence industry companies for research and development, share best practices and experiences, and support innovative activities that have great potential to be successful in foreign markets,” Siem added.
Siem noted that the defence and space industries are very closely related, where the strength of Estonian companies is primarily in the field of cyber security and machine learning. “In cooperation with the European Space Agency, Estonian companies are developing cyber security applications and cybersecurity-related exercises, analysis of remote sensing data for more efficient operation of the country and autonomous robots that could be used in outer space research,” said Siem. “In order for Estonian companies to be able to remain competitive with other countries in the field of space cyber security, the Enterprise Estonia Space Bureau, in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the European Space Agency, will announce the next space cybersecurity applications in October this year,” Siem added.
“The Estonian Defence Industry Association, together with the Ministry of Defence, has developed the Estonian defence industry more systematically during the last ten years than any other industry in Estonia. We want to repeat the same success story in the field of space industry in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. The European space sector offers many new opportunities for Estonian companies, we must support local companies in implementing these opportunities. The Estonian Defence Industry Association wants to reorganize itself into the Estonian Defence and Space Industry Association, following the example of the respective professional associations of many other countries. The agreement signed today is an important milestone in this development path, ”said Taavi Veskimägi, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Defence Industry Association.
According to Veskimägi, Estonian companies already participating in European Defence Industry Development Programs (EDIDP) already have the opportunity to successfully apply civil or dual-use technologies in the defence and security sector and certainly in the space sector in the future. The EDIDP competition has given first impetus to many innovative products in the Estonian defence industry portfolio, such as the development of unmanned machinery systems, the creation of prototypes of military cyber situational awareness platforms, the development of strategic and operational management systems and surveillance and intelligence solutions.
The Estonian Defence Industry Association is a non-profit association that brings together and unites more than 100 defence industry companies in Estonia today. The aim of EKTL is to create opportunities in the market of defence-related services and goods of companies belonging to the Union and to be a strategic partner for the Estonian state in order to strengthen Estonia’s defence capability and contribute to economic development.