November 19, 2018

Space cooperation between France and Belgium, supporting research into climate change and technological innovation

Monday 19 November 2018, during the visit to Belgium of French President Emmanuel Macron, CNES Chief Operating Officer Lionel Suchet and Franck Monteny—Director General Research and Space at the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO)—signed a letter of intent to boost cooperation in the development of space solutions that support research into climate change and cutting-edge technological innovation.

French and Belgium have a long history of space cooperation. An initial agreement, signed by the two governments on 20 June 1979, already centred around the implementation of an Earth observation programme. Today’s letter of intent will boost cooperation between CNES and BELPSO in the field of Earth observation, in order to strengthen the role of space missions in studying climate change, promote international cooperation in this field via the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) tabled at the One Planet Summit, and foster exchange between French and Belgian research teams.

Regarding cutting-edge space applications, CNES and BELPSO are to create a joint working group whose primary role will be to encourage cooperation in areas of space research with both space and non-space players and to foster exchange regarding disruptive technologies. These new applications could be used to support various policies such as sustainable development, water resource management, smart cities and the Internet of Things.

Following the signature, CNES Chief Operating Officer Lionel Suchet said: “Next year will mark 40 years of space cooperation between France and Belgium. The letter of intent signed today between CNES and BELPSO is a further landmark in the development of activities common to both our nations. It centres around the bid to protect our planet and, to this end, builds on the commitments made in that first agreement of 1979.”

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer     Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer     Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51
Sébastien Martignac    Press Officer     Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 78 35