The space sector is a recognized area of excellence of French industry. Fifty years of military and civilian investment have helped to build industrial capabilities, singular in their size and their technological level, for the satellites, launchers and propulsion technologies.
The considerable growth of the sector worldwide, especially in emerging markets, has generated a great opportunity for French companies, while increased competition stemming from New Space makes it necessary now more than ever to showcase their specific assets abroad.
Also, as it is a sector of sovereignty, institutional aspects for drawing up space policy and commercial aspects of support for our export companies are closely tied.
Also, in addition to its role in drawing up French and European space policy, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and its Directorate-General for Global Affairs, Culture, Education and International Development provide specific support to exports by French companies in the space sector.
This support can be seen in the mobilization of its diplomatic network and in its working relationships with French manufacturers (Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Alenia Space, Safran, Ariane Group, Arianespace, Eutelsat). This enables the Ministry to keep abreast of the developments in public procurement in the space sector and to act as an interface between manufacturers and foreign governments, thereby contributing to France’s economic diplomacy.
2017 was a very productive year for the French Space Agency (CNES) in each of its five areas of action, implemented its four centres of excellence:
- the Toulouse Space Center for the design of orbital systems,
- the Launcher Directorate for the development of launcher systems,
- the Guyanese Space Centre for the implementation of European launchers
- the CNES headquarters for drafting French space policy, which focuses on relations with the space industry, and with France’s European partners, within the framework of the European Space Agency and the European Commission and internationally.
The CNES plays a key role in French economic diplomacy and is behind many successful endeavours of the French space industry.
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