May 18, 2015

Electric-propulsion satellites : CNES in Nantes for launch of second phase of NFI new industrial policy by Emmanuel Macron

Monday 18 May, CNES was in Nantes alongside Emmanuel Macron, the Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Technologies, for the launch of the second phase of France’s NFI new industrial policy.

The second phase of France’s NFI1 new industrial policy was officially launched today by Emmanuel Macron, the Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Technologies, at an event at the Ecole des Mines engineering school in Nantes. Jean-Yves Le Gall, CNES President and Head of the NFI Electric-Propulsion Satellite project, was represented on this occasion by Christophe Allemand, in charge of telecommunications and navigation programmes at CNES. A stand presenting the project, staffed by CNES and industry partners (Airbus Defence and Space, Thales Alenia Space and Snecma), had several mock-ups on display.

Buoyed by satellite capacity delivering television broadcasting and ubiquitous Internet access on land, at sea and in the air, commercial telecommunications satellite business is booming, especially in export markets. Most European satellites are built in France and in this domain where French industry excels it must rapidly adapt by proposing high-power electric satellites and bring critical electric-propulsion technologies to maturity to maintain its strong presence in this market. To this end, a plan has been established and entrusted to CNES under the NFI initiative. With €48 million in funding from the PIA future investment programme, the project is progressing extremely well since CNES has already awarded all industrial contracts.

As part of the second phase of NFI, the Electric-Propulsion Satellite project has now been folded into a ‘trust in digital’2 group. After the event in Nantes, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “Through the Electric-Propulsion Satellite project, which will give France the independent capability it needs in such a critical domain, the Satellite of the Future project conceiving tomorrow’s geostationary spacecraft buses and THD-SAT developing the technologies required for the new-generation Internet satellites that will bring fast broadband connectivity to all before 2020, all funded by the PIA programme, CNES is working with industry to build the satellite telecommunications infrastructure of the future. In so doing, our agency is once again proving a great source of innovation driving jobs.”

1 Nouvelle France Industrielle
2 Confiance Numérique
Pascale Bresson    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Alain Delrieu    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 04
Julien Watelet    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37

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