May 20, 2021


Wednesday 19 May, start-ups, SMEs, non-profit associations, research laboratories and large industrial groups pitched their innovation ideas on the theme of reusable upper stages for Europe’s future launchers to an audience of experts from the space industry, partners and overseeing ministries. In all, €750,000 worth of CNES contracts was awarded to the 10 laureates, who each received €50,000 or €100,000 to develop their solutions.

This new pitch day gave firms who have never worked with CNES before the chance to sign a contract with the agency:

⦁    CES Works
⦁    Flight Level and Orbital Deployment
⦁    Open Space Makers
⦁    Opus Aerospace

On the heels of previous successful pitch day events held in 2020, this year CNES’s Launch Vehicles Directorate (DLA) is organizing two Launchers R&D Challenges: this one on the theme of reusable upper stages and a forthcoming event on 1 June on disruptive technologies and advanced concepts for launchers. These challenges are designed to ease access to funding for launch systems and to support the space ecosystem.

Commenting on the event, CNES’s Launch Vehicles Director, Jean-Marc Astorg, said: “I would like to sincerely thank all the participants for their fine work and their innovative proposals. This year, we can say that CNES has again accomplished its goals of expediting selection and contract notification while opening up to new players. I hope the next challenge that CNES is organizing in June on disruptive technologies and advanced concepts meets with similar success. This is a virtuous way of sparking new ideas and giving new players the chance to sign contracts with CNES, and of expediting the contracting process for everybody.”

Pascale Bresson     Press Officer     Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Raphaël Sart    Head of Media    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51