August 24, 2015 — On 20 August 2015 the Director General of ESO, Tim de Zeeuw, and the Director General of ESA, Johann-Dietrich Woerner, signed a cooperation agreement between the two organisations at ESO’s offices in Santiago, Chile. The ESA Director General was accompanied by Álvaro Giménez, Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at ESA, and Fabio Favata, Head of the ESA Programme Coordination Office.
There is considerable overlap of interests between ESO, pre-eminent in ground-based astronomy, and ESA, Europe’s leader in space research and technology. The new agreement provides a framework for future close cooperation and exchange of information in many areas, including technology and scientific research.
The agreement will promote strategic coordination of the two organisations’ long-term plans as well as coordination of specific programmes. In addition, it will promote coordination of scientific and training programmes as well as the sharing of best practices in many areas. Coordination in the areas of services, tools and resources will also be encouraged. Additional areas covered by the new agreement are technology development and public outreach activities.
On the day after the signature ceremony the two Directors General and accompanying staff visited the VLT and other facilities at ESO's Paranal Observatory.