Following the success of the Dragon Programme, more than 300 leading European and Chinese scientists have gathered from 21 to 25 April 2008 in Beijing in the Peoples Republic of China to present their results and to kick off the programmes second phase, Dragon 2.
The Dragon Programme is a joint undertaking between ESA and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China designed to encourage increased exploitation of ESA and Chinese Earth Observation (EO) satellite data within China.
Opening the Dragon 1 final symposium and Dragon 2 Kick-Off symposium, ESAs Director for Legal Affairs and External Relations Mr Rene Oosterlinck said: "The Sino-European Dragon Programme is a cooperation of which we are very proud. In terms of organisation, it is a small programme but one that has yielded great scientific results. By pooling Chinese and European capacities together, we are achieving much better results than if we had done it separately.
"In todays globalised world, Earth Observation from Space can contribute to the solution of universal problems and issues, such as environmental monitoring and food security, only if we all continue to cooperate together and projects such as Dragon are a good start."
In his opening address, Deputy Director General of High and New Technology Development and Industrialization of MOST Liao Xiaohan said: "The Dragon Programme has become the model of Sino-European science and technology cooperation. The successful first phase of the Dragon Programme has promoted cooperation between remote sensing experts from China and Europe, enhanced remote sensing technological capability of China and Europe, generated positive and extensive international implications and created a foundation for a more in-depth partnership as the next step."
"Europe, over the last 30 years, has established itself as one of the leading players in Earth Observation. Scientific and operational missions, deployed by ESA,
|Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto|
European Space Agency