site.btaInnovations Minister Stoycheva Meets NASA Representatives, Discusses Bulgaria-US Space Tech Cooperation
Bulgaria and the US can cooperate in space technology, said Minister of Innovation and Growth Milena Stoycheva at a meeting with Neal Newman, Deputy Director in the Aeronautics and Cross Agency Support Division within the Office of International and Interagency Relations at NASA. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Minister of Innovation and Growth Prof. Georgi Angelov, the Bulgarian Ministry reported Sunday.
During the talks issues of mutual interest for Bulgaria and the USA in the field of peaceful space exploration were discussed. NASA's Artemis programme for the exploration of the Moon, Mars, comets and asteroids was presented, including the Artemis Accords defining the basic principles for global cooperation in space.
"Bulgaria's strategic goal is to increase its participation in the European Space Agency. Our country is steadily building on its contribution under the Plan for European Cooperating States and is aiming for associate membership," Minister Stoycheva said at the meeting. She stressed that so far more than 40 Bulgarian projects in the field of space technology have been funded by the European Space Agency, with the participation of more than 130 Bulgarian companies and scientific organisations. Among the projects are an instrument that participates on an international satellite to measure radiation in orbit around Mars, an instrument to provide information on board the Exo Mars satellite, a space greenhouse that will recreate the specific environmental conditions for growing plants in space conditions.
During the talks Minister Stoycheva stressed that Bulgaria is one of the few European countries that has its own geostationary telecommunications satellite - Bulgaria Sat-1. It covers Europe, North Africa and part of the Middle East, with predominant coverage of the Balkan Peninsula, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea region.
In the US, Minister Stoycheva and Deputy Minister Angelov also met with SpaceX senior director of commercial sales Stephanie Bednarek. The three discussed opportunities for Bulgaria's involvement in the company's international astronaut training program, as well as opportunities for funding space projects. The talks also focused on the introduction of innovations in the field of telemedicine, education, creating a safe environment in schools and mitigating the effects of crisis situations.
Minister Stoycheva also held a meeting with Allen Thompson, Intel's Vice President of government relations for the US and Canada, and Jordan Haas, the company's trade policy and government relations Director. The meeting discussed issues related to building sustainable supply chain linkages in the semiconductor industry that have been disrupted in recent years due to global challenges.
The importance of increasing R&D capacity and expanding the semiconductor ecosystems in Europe and in particular in Bulgaria and the SEE region in terms of chip production, packaging, test and design of integrated circuits and systems was also highlighted. Issues of mutual interest in the areas of training, human resource qualification, and skills development in emerging technologies were also discussed.