The Space Forum, held every two years in Luxembourg, is focused on the impact of space technologies on a broad range of sectors such as connectivity, mobility, security, media, climate and space exploration. It brings together key stakeholders, numerous representatives from space agencies, European innovation hubs, satellite operators and industry contractors, as well as start-up entrepreneurs and investors. More than 5,000 decision-makers from more than 70 countries attend the event, which proposes an exclusive programme of seminars and presentations by top people from the space sector.
Jean-Yves Le Gall took part in the panel session on ‘New Infrastructures and Satellite Data Management: a Data-driven Economy’, where he spoke about innovation at CNES. He began by presenting the challenges ahead for the agency this year, especially the InSight mission with the United States to learn more about the history and evolution of Mars, CFOSat with China to observe Earth’s oceans and climate, and BepiColombo with Europe and Japan to unveil the secrets of Mercury. He also mentioned other landmark events in 2018 such as IAC in Bremen, UNISPACE+50 and the 50th anniversaries of the Toulouse Space Centre and Guiana Space Centre. He then referred to CNES’s Innovation & Inspiration objectives and performance plan, which seeks to give extra weight to innovative and disruptive programmes, pursue and strengthen partnership ties and step up cooperation initiatives. He also pointed to CNES’s role in tackling climate change and scientific exploration, underlining that international partners turn to CNES every time there is a new field of excellence to be developed, as France has one of the best scientific communities in the world and the agency’s technology expertise is universally renowned. Lastly, he highlighted the two big transformations that CNES has successfully anticipated in recent years: the digital transformation and the accompanying development of unique expertise in big data, and the revolution in the field of mini-, micro-, nano- and picosatellites, combining the best that agencies, industry and start-ups can offer.
Concluding his address, Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “In 2018, careers in space are stimulating renewed interest around the world. Space is everywhere—about that there can be no doubt. Space is a sector in transformation and innovation, applications and digital are the watchwords of this step change we are seeing. Every day, our employees are enriching CNES’s DNA and laying the foundations for the careers of the future. We may have come a long way in just a few years, but there is much, much more to come, and it is in this sense that we remain a pivotal player.”