Under the banner of France-Singapore Innovation Year kicked off two weeks ago by Frédérique Vidal, Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, CNES and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) co-organized the ‘Innovate Together in Space’ seminar today in Singapore. Opened by Marc Abensour, France’s Ambassador to Singapore, EDB’s Director General Beh Kian Teik and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall, the seminar sponsored by the French aerospace industries association GIFAS proved a great success, bringing together more than 150 participants from CNES, the French defence procurement agency DGA, the French aerospace and defence research agency ONERA, French manufacturers (Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Alenia Space, Arianespace, Sodern, Nexeya and Air Liquide, etc.) and their Singapore counterparts for a programme of presentations and workshops focusing on space technologies and applications. Topics covered included small Earth-imaging satellites, robotic manufacturing of space systems and how space technologies are contributing to the Internet of Things (IoT) and management of big data.
Formed in 1961, EDB is a government agency whose role is to encourage and federate industrial initiatives in Singapore. Its Office for Space Technology and Industry (OSTIn) is responsible for space affairs and for promoting international cooperation. CNES and EDB signed a first cooperation agreement covering space technologies at the Elysée Palace in Paris in 2015, and in March 2017 specified their intentions with a memorandum of understanding on promoting space cooperation. The aim of today’s seminar was to provide a broad perspective of this partnership and to define future domains of shared interest for the two nations.
CNES’s delegation also met its counterparts from EDB and OSTIn for a bilateral meeting. An initial review of the seminar and upcoming events like the next ActInSpace hackathon to be held this year in Singapore, the building of bridges between start-ups and SMEs in both countries and closer ties between CNES and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), which put on a special tour of its laboratories, were among the range of topics discussed.
At the end of his visit to Singapore, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I am delighted to see that the ‘Innovate Together in Space’ seminar has been such a success. This is a testament to our shared interest in innovative technologies and applications. I would like to thank France’s Ambassador to Singapore for supporting this event, as well as EDB, OSTIn and everyone on the French and Singapore sides who helped to make it happen. After this seminar, our already close ties with Singapore are set to step up another gear with new and promising partnerships to look forward to.”