Teruel, in the race to host the headquarters of the Space Agency

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Madrid (EFE).- The government has launched the procedure to choose the headquarters of the future Spanish Space Agency (AEE), which intends to host the city of Teruel. The agency is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2023 and will be located outside of Madrid. This serves the executive’s objective of decentralizing the headquarters of newly created public bodies.

According to the Minister of Territorial Policy and government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, the deconcentration of organizations contributes to greater territorial cohesion. He assured that it would be an “open, transparent, deliberative and competitive” procedure.

The Council of Ministers agreed to this procedure to accommodate the physical headquarters of the new Agency. In addition to Teruel, the Madrid municipalities of Robledo de Chavela or Tres Cantos, Seville or León have already shown interest.

Act of civil society in Teruel to support the candidacy to host the Space Agency. EFE/Antonio Garcia

The creation of this agency is provided for in the new law of science and also envisaged in the strategic project for the recovery and economic transformation (Loss) of aerospace. With this initiative, the Government wants to mobilize some 4,500 million euros between 2021 and 2025 to promote research and innovation in the aeronautics and space sector.

The government has stressed that Spain will thus be on an equal footing, with the creation of this agency, with other neighboring countries which have similar bodies. These agencies focus on defining strategies related to the space sector, which provides “essential” services to society in the field of communications, Earth observation, navigation, security, combat climate change or the monitoring of phenomena such as drought or fires.

international involvement

The Agency, which will also have a component dedicated to national security, will coordinate national space activities and policies. It will also be the public body that will channel Spanish participation in international programs in this field.

Today, a period of one month opens for an advisory commission, which will be chaired by the Minister of Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, to prepare a report with the criteria that will be evaluated to determine the location of the headquarters. After this stage, the autonomous communities and town halls will be able to present their candidacies.

The administrations that choose to host the ESA can also report on the commitments they are prepared to meet, such as the transfer of real estate, the assumption of the financial costs of the transfer or the support measures for the transferred personnel. .

There may be more candidates.

At the end of the deadline for submitting applications, the Commission will prepare an opinion, which may also include non-applicant localities, and will transmit its proposal to the Council of Ministers for approval.

The first status of the Agency and the first action plan will be drawn up by the Space Council, an interministerial group integrated into the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

The government spokesman underlined, during the press conference after the Council of Ministers, that this is a “strategic” project and underlined the importance of accelerating the start-up of this Agency, since it will be responsible for piloting the aerospace part.

Edited by Isabel Poncela

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