Switzerland to host European space technology centre

ESA General Director Josef Aschbacher and Swiss State Secretary for research and innovation Martina Hirayama sign an agreement to establish the joint venture. Keystone / Alexandra Wey

Switzerland has signed an agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA) to host a centre of excellence for developing space technology.

This content was published on May 17, 2022 - 15:29

The European Space Deep-Tech Innovation (ESDI) centre will be set up at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), which is part of the leading Swiss technology establishments known collectively as the ETH Domain.

On Tuesday, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between ESA and PSI to advance progress in areas such as material research, data management and processing, quantum technologies and sustainable space ecosystems. 

The detailed plan of research will be presented to the ESA Council in November with the aim of starting work on projects next year.

The ESDI will help Switzerland “engage even more strongly in space, and to contribute its share in the efforts to rise to and overcome the many challenges Europe faces,” said a government press releaseExternal link.

Switzerland is a founding member of ESA and contributes CHF190 million ($189 million) to its programmes and activities every year. 

Swiss contributions to space exploration and technology have notched up some impressive projects over the decades.

In 2019, for example, the first European satellite ‘Made in Switzerland’, called CHEOPSExternal link, was launched to explore exoplanets.

The European-American Solar Orbiter probeExternal link took off from Florida the following year with a Swiss X-ray telescope on board to study the Sun close up.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.