0n 18 March 2021, the Council of the European Space Agency signed an Association Agreement with Lithuania, to be finally ratified in the autumn of this year. Currently, 22 countries are members of the European Space Agency, and Lithuania has been ESA European Cooperating State since October 2014. After the ratification of the Agreement, Lithuania will become a full Associate Member of the European Space Agency. This will foster innovation in science and the development of advanced technologies and innovative industries as well as increase the international competitiveness of space-based business and science.
Researchers of the Marine Research Institute of Klaipėda University have experience in cooperation with the European Space Agency. This year, they completed the project Development of the Lithuanian Surface Water Environmental Assessment and Monitoring System Based on Space Science Mission Data, funded by the European Space Agency’s Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS), which was recognized by the European Space Agency as one of the most successful projects. The main goal of this project is to develop methods that can be used to map various parameters of water bodies, such as chlorophyll-a concentration, water transparency, vegetation, and water temperature using Sentinel satellite data. These data are of great practical value, as the ecological status and water quality, pollution and the extent of water “bloom” can be monitored simultaneously in the whole water body.