Science and Technologies, Cooperation in the Field of Space
30 October 2020 17:42

Cooperation in Science and Technology

The legal basis for cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the field of research and innovation is laid down in:

  • Association Agreement between Ukraine, on the one hand, and the European Union, the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, on the other hand (since 2014);
  • Agreement on cooperation in science and technology between the European Community and Ukraine (since 2002);
  • Agreement between Ukraine and the European Commission on the associated participation of Ukraine in the European Union Framework Program for Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020" (since 2015);
  • Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the European Atomic Energy Community on Scientific and Technological Cooperation and Associated Participation of Ukraine in the Euratom Research and Training Program (2014–2018), automatically prolonged to 2020 (since 2016);
  • other relevant bilateral agreements.

Ukraine is associated to Horizon 2020 since 2015 and to Euratom Research and Training Program since 2016. Regular Joint committee meetings are held to monitor and foster cooperation and explore all opportunities.

Ukrainian entities have participated 286 times in Horizon 2020 program and signed 203 grants of collaborative, MSCA, ERC and SME Instrument actions of Horizon 2020, receiving 37.6 million euros of direct EU contribution.

Regarding non bottom-up collaborative actions (therefore excluding projects under ERC, MSCA and SME Instrument) of Horizon 2020, Ukrainian applicants are involved 1275 times (152 times as coordinators) in 980 eligible proposals.

Regarding the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), Ukrainian applicants are involved 522 times (38 as coordinators) in 338 eligible proposals. Out of 221 high-quality proposals (above threshold), 47 were mainlisted.

Regarding grants funded by the SME instrument, Ukrainian applicants are involved 524 times in 509 eligible proposals. Out of 54 high-quality proposals (above threshold), 13 were mainlisted.

Participation of Ukraine in the Euratom Research and Training Program is a good example of successful cooperation in the field of science, receiving total EU funding of 4,7 mln euros in signed grants.

Being associated to both programs, researchers from Ukraine gain full access to JRC open access opportunities, such as access to nuclear test facilities in Europe.

Horizon programs are universal platforms to join international efforts to address global challenges and Ukraine is participating in the most socially important EU research, namely:

  • EU Action Plan "ERA vs Corona" is already being implemented through the mechanisms of H2020 program with Ukraine being part of joint efforts.
  • Spheres of possible joint actions were discussed in joint EU-Associated Countries consultations. Ukraine is welcomed to participate in relevant H2020 calls and national research of member-states, as well as to share research results and capabilities for future matchmaking.
  • Ukraine did very well in the EUvsVirus Hackathon among Associated Countries: Ukraine registered 315 participants, and 6 of those were among the final winners (out of 117 total finalists).
  • Research for EU Green Deal. UA representatives were actively involved in shaping H2020 Green Deal Call, that was launched in September 2020. Scientific community is also getting prepared for further support of Green transition under Horizon Europe. Ukraine will join common efforts to make Europe carbon neutral by 2050.
  • Under Euratom Research and Training program, Ukraine actively participates in radioactive waste management research as well as in European Research Roadmap to the Realisation of Fusion Energy (part of EUROfusion consortium).

Cooperation with EU in the field of research and innovation is also good basis for supporting Ukrainian reform efforts. Peer Review of the Ukrainian Research and Innovation System was carried out in 2016 and is still used as guidelines for reforms.

Studies on Ukrainian technology transfer system and research infrastructures are also made by EU expert to further streamline Ukraine’s integration to European Research Area.

Ukraine has proved its potential in research and development, participation of Ukrainian researchers in the EU programs was recognised as mutually beneficial.

Ukraine is interested in the association with the "Horizon Europe" (2021-2027) and Euratom Research and Training Program (2021–2025). Respective agreements will be negotiated following adoption of EU Multiannual financial framework 2021-2027.

Cooperation in the field of space

The legal basis for cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the field of space includes:

  • Association Agreement between Ukraine, on the one hand, and the European Union, the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, on the other hand (since 2014);
  • Cooperation Agreement between the EC and State Space Agency of Ukraine on cooperation in the area of data access and use of Sentinel satellite data of the Copernicus programme (since 2016);
  • Agreement between Ukraine and the European Commission on the associated participation of Ukraine in the European Union Framework Program for Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020" (since 2015).

Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU provides a wide framework for cooperation in space field and envisages active cooperation with the European Commission, the European Space Agency (ESA), space agencies of EU member states in space related programs.

EU supports Ukraine’s participation in GALILEO-EGNOS (European Global Navigation Satellite System), COPERNICUS (Earth Monitoring for Security and Environment) and space related research and development calls under Horizon 2020 framework program.

In recent years, Ukraine has made a significant progress in implementing agreements with the EU in the space sphere.

Earth observation

In 2020, the Regional Mirror Site of the EU program "Copernicus" was launched, which provides free access to the materials of the territory of Ukraine from the satellites "Sentinel-1", "Sentinel-2" and "Sentinel-3". In 2020-2021, it is planned to expand access to the Sentinel-5P satellite. These images can be used in the interests of the Ukrainian economy, farming, environmental monitoring, as well as to respond to emergencies.

EU space data is already introduced in the process of land governance in Ukraine, more state programs are being developed jointly be State Space Agency of Ukraine, Ministry of Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, Ministry of infrastructure of Ukraine and Ministry of interior affairs of Ukraine.

National research entities are working together with JRC and EU researchers to provide better use of satellite data and applications for social needs Europeans.

Space Research Institute of NASU-SSAU became a member of Copernicus Academy (international network of research and educational institutions. It also participates in Horizon 2020 ERA-PLANET project that aim at creating European Research Area in the field of Earth research by enhancing participation of European research structures in programs of Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and Copernicus.

EGNOS extension

In July 2020 agreement on placement of EGNOS RIMS station in the Kyiv Sikorsky Airport was finalized. In the next few years RIMS station will be installed to provide EGNOS system coverage for eastern parts of EU Member-states. Ukraine proves to be a reliable partner for EU in the field of satellite navigation and air-traffic management.

As of 2020 Ukraine and the EU are negotiating the draft Agreement between Ukraine and the EU on expanding the coverage of the EGNOS system and providing access to the "Safety of Life" service.

Areas of application of the system include automation and improving the accuracy of navigation in river, road and rail transport, that will help to build reliable and secure air traffic control systems, as well as become a practical aid to the agro-industry.

First of all, the introduction of the system on the territory of Ukraine will provide a high-precision automatic landing system for aircraft at regional airports and airfields that are not equipped with modern air navigation systems Instrument Landing System (ILS). In addition, the Safety of Life service will allow rescue helicopters to land in conditions of limited visibility and difficult weather conditions.

We expect that based on the results of the consolidated work of the Government and the European Commission, the Agreement can be signed in early 2021 (COVID-19 permitting).

Ukraine will be the first non-EU country to have access to Safety of Life service and will serve as a ground point for expansion of EU satellite navigation system beyond Europe.

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