Jean-Yves Le Gall reflected on the current context in which French space is this year expected to generate in excess of €4.4 billion and sustain more than 14,000 highly qualified jobs—more than half of the European space industry’s revenues and more than a third of its jobs. France is also the leading contributor to ESA in 2019, with €1,174 million, an increase of nearly 20%.
CNES’s President also underlined France’s scientific and industrial excellence in the fields of science and defence, in response to the growing digital economy, globalization and the emergence of new competitors. This NewSpace paradigm in which all space stakeholders have a role to play is driving a transformational shift through the miniaturization of satellites, lowering of costs, new firms entering the satellite data market and more than 50 nations new to space now working alongside the legacy players of the 1960s.
The fourth industrial revolution being shaped by digitization and globalization has impacted space like all other sectors. CNES’s response to this transformation is threefold: scientific excellence in the fields of space exploration and climate monitoring; closer integration of the space ecosystem; and international cooperation, which it is developing with space players around the world. Today, the agency’s role is to test and infuse innovations for the space systems and services that will fuel future markets.
Jean-Yves Le Gall concluded: “At the end of the day, the privatization of space augured by NewSpace is in fact a necessary evolution and the renewal of an ecosystem in which more and more different stakeholders are playing a role in pursuit of increasingly important economic and strategic goals, and where government investment will remain the main source of funding in the years ahead. And France, on the strength of its scientific excellence, CNES’s actions in France, Europe and all over the globe, and its world-class industry, has firmly embraced this change.”