The new international space environment, shaped by the emergence of public players as well as private players from the Internet sphere in the U.S., is transforming the sector and forcing CNES to keep innovating to retain its role as a prime mover in space. Driven by the digital revolution and an increasingly global market with cheaper space systems, this transformation is an opportunity that France and CNES are working to seize more than ever before.
In response to the seismic shifts in the space sector, CNES has redefined its strategy and is sponsoring technology as a source of innovation fuelling economic development based on space solutions. The aim is to federate start-ups and encourage them to conceive new solutions geared to users’ needs. To this end, CNES launched its ConnectbyCNES programme late in 2017 to forge close ties with innovation communities and make space technologies and solutions central to the businesses of enterprises of all sizes.
In a fast-moving market, developing international cooperation is a cornerstone of CNES’s strategy for remaining a pivotal player in the global space arena. Two categories of partner stand out: historic partners—the world’s leading space players (United States, China, Russia, India, Japan and Germany)—and new entrants seeking to leverage space for economic and strategic purposes (United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Morocco, Vietnam and Israel). These partnerships are focusing on the three priorities of France’s space programme: climate action, space exploration and innovation.
After the plenary session, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “NewSpace is transforming the global space landscape to which CNES has adapted by redefining its strategy to address the challenges of this century and enable France to remain a leading space power, while continuing to innovative and compete. This transformation has been made possible thanks notably to government support, which NewSpace has simply strengthened.”
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