Polish Space Agency confirmed by parliament

WARSAW, July 25 (Xinhua)--On Friday, the Sejm (lower house) decided on the foundation of the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) which will oversee space research and related foreign cooperation.

The new agency will aim to give Polish space researchers easier access to projects carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA) and also remove barriers in the development of companies and research and development centres.

The authors of the bill, piloted by former deputy PM and Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak, argued that although Poland pays several dozen million euros to the European Space Agency in membership fees each year, the Polish space sector's participation in ESA program is minimal despite its potential.

POLSA is to coordinate the space sector's activities, now handled by scores of institutions and ministries, and will identify interesting and important applications and set up its own laboratories. The agency will also help gain ESA funds.

The head of the Warsaw-based agency is to be appointed by the prime minister from among candidates selected in a contest announced by a POLSA council consisting of 9 government representatives and 4 others representing the science milieu and 4 from the industry sector.