October 15, 2021


Thursday 14 October, CNES’s Launch Vehicles Directorate (DLA) held its Launchers R&D Challenge Pitch Day on launch system disruptive technologies and advanced concepts. Start-ups, SMEs, non-profit associations, research laboratories and large primes pitched their innovation ideas to an audience of experts from the space industry base, partners, overseeing ministries and manufacturers. In all, €550,000 worth of CNES contracts was awarded to the laureates, who each received €50,000 or €100,000 to develop their solutions.

The challenge laureates are:
⦁    Absolut System SAS
⦁    Air Liquide Advanced Technologies
⦁    CEA, the French atomic energy and alternative energies commission
⦁    Compagnie Lyonnaise d'Études et de Services en Électronique (CLESSE)
⦁    Hybrid Propulsion for Space
⦁    IRFM magnetic confinement fusion research institute
⦁    Pangea Aerospace S.L
⦁    PIMM mechanical and material processes and engineering laboratory

The challenge’s aims were to imagine launcher concepts for the 2040 timeframe and long-term disruptive technologies, to boost innovation and to develop the space economy. This challenge closes out the 2021 series of Launchers R&D Challenges 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’m delighted to see this third Pitch Day has been such a success, with nine contracts rapidly signed to develop original ideas for future launchers, including with nine players who had never worked with CNES before. Through this approach, the agency is supporting NewSpace players and broadening its palette of R&T activities.”

Olivia Baumann     Press Officer     Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 76 59    olivia.baumann@cnes.fr
Pascale Bresson     Press Officer     Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart    Head of Media    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51    raphael.sart@cnes.fr