February 2, 2018

French-German space cooperation - DLR New Year event, Climate and innovation share centre stage

Thursday 1 February, the German space agency DLR held its traditional New Year event in Berlin. On this occasion, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall met Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of DLR’s Executive Board, and Dr. Wolfgang Scheremet, Director General of Industrial Policy at BMWi, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. His visit provided the opportunity to conduct a status check ahead of the key milestones this year for ESA and EU programmes, as well as for bilateral projects in the fields of innovation and climate. It also served to prepare for the next ESA Council meeting in Paris on 13 and 14 March.

For the ILA air show in Berlin from 25-29 April, where France will be guest of honour, Pascale Ehrenfreund suggested to Jean-Yves Le Gall that DLR and CNES should showcase their joint projects to underscore the importance of the cooperation between the two agencies.

A mock-up of the French-German MERLIN satellite (Methane Remote sensing LIdar missioN) will be on display to illustrate this remarkable cooperation. Built in partnership with research institutes in France and Germany, MERLIN, planned to launch in 2021, will deliver significant new insights for climate science. Its presence at ILA will call attention to the soon-to-be-established Space Climate Observatory set out in the Paris Declaration adopted at the One Planet Summit in Paris last December. This observatory will act as a hub between space agencies and the international scientific community.

The two agency heads also stressed the importance of stepping up their cooperation in space innovation, in line with the desire expressed by President Macron and Chancellor Merkel for the two nations to forge closer partnership ties in the area of disruptive innovation.

At the end of his visit, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “DLR is one of CNES’s leading partners in Europe. Our convergence of views on the Space Climate Observatory holds the promise of new and even more ambitious advances to further our already excellent cooperation. Setting up this observatory will support efforts to tackle climate change, which truly is one of the key challenges of the 21st century. Likewise, working with DLR on innovation will open up new avenues in Europe in a context of growing global competition to develop mature disruptive technologies.”

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51    raphael.sart@cnes.fr