Jean-Yves Le Gall was in Brussels on Wednesday 27 April to present France’s space strategy to European MPs from the Sky & Space Intergroup. This meeting was organized as part of the public consultation on a space strategy for Europe. The new strategy is scheduled to be presented to the European Commission this autumn by Elzbieta Bienkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, in charge of the Commission’s space policy.
After listing the successes of spacefaring Europe, Jean-Yves Le Gall underlined the big changes now underway in the space sector that Europe is facing. These changes are being driven by the emergence of new space powers that stand out through the sheer scale and diversity of their efforts, and by NewSpace in the United States, with new players and activities employing innovative methods and approaches.
CNES’s President then presented the assets that France and CNES can marshal to meet these new challenges, explaining that the agency conducts all of its programmes with international partners and fully intends to pursue this path. He also stressed the importance of consolidating domains of excellence by investing in new-generation programmes like Ariane 6, NeoSat, IASI-NG, SWOT and THR-NG, while paving the way for the future, in particular in the field of climate monitoring with MERLIN and MicroCarb.
Lastly, he charted CNES’s roadmap for 2016-2020 and its ‘Innovation & Inspiration’ objectives and performance plan, designed to put France, a pivotal player of Europe’s space system, in the best position to smooth the transition to NewSpace. With this aim in mind, the agency recently created a new Directorate of Innovation, Applications and Science.
Jean-Yves Le Gall then concluded: “Let’s be open and seek the best ideas and partnerships, and let’s work together on large federating projects that bring us closer together so that our future successes benefit Europe and our industry in its efforts to create jobs and wealth, while continuing to support world-class science. In other words, let’s be innovative and inspirational!”