Thursday 25 January in Toulouse, CNES organized its third Innovation Day, opened by the agency’s President Jean-Yves Le Gall. The event focused on future technologies for orbital systems and launchers, as well as a dedicated session for start-ups, highlighting the dynamism of African stakeholders. Special attention was also given to fundamental science and how it is tied to innovative technologies, in the wake of the results of projects that have recently made the news in particle physics, the equivalence principle and gravitational waves. Michel Spiro, President of the Société Française de Physique, and Yann Mambrini, Research Director at the LPT theoretical physics laboratory, were the guests for this third edition.
For CNES, innovation above all means spawning and nurturing new players at all levels of the space ecosystem. The Federation programme launched at last year’s Paris Air Show in June seeks to do just that, looking to give each citizen the opportunity to contribute to a space infrastructure conceived in collaborative, open source mode. A non-profit association called Open Space Makers has also been formed under this programme. Next spring, it will be touring France to tap into the wellspring of the nation’s talent.
CNES is active in a broad range of sectors. In November last year, it inaugurated its Space’ibles space survey observatory, which now counts 38 partners from all horizons, working together to define the outlook for areas like space’s place in future societies or living and producing in space.
Developing applications and services remains integral to everything CNES does. On 3 January, the agency signed a partnership agreement with French Tech to join Station F, the incubator at the Halle Freyssinet in Paris. This partnership will encourage start-ups working with the space sector, through a framework complementing other ongoing actions like the ActInSpace hackathon, support for the ESA-BIC incubator and fostering ties between stakeholders in domains such as digital technologies, healthcare and cybersecurity.
At the event, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “This third edition of CNES’s Innovation Day is a melting pot of all of the mantra that have served as our focus in recent years: A Chance for Europe, Space for Climate, Innovation & Inspiration and Inventing the Future of Space. For this year, our mantra will be The Spirit of Space, reflecting the agency’s forward-looking vision and illustrating that, more than ever before, innovation must drive everything we do if we want to remain a prime player in the European and international space arena.”