France, world’s second-largest investor in the space sector
At EUR 30 per year per inhabitant, France has the world’s second-largest annual budget per inhabitant devoted to the civil space sector. It stands behind the United States (EUR 46) but ahead of Germany (EUR 16) and the United Kingdom (EUR 6).
Many projects are to be conducted by the French Space Agency (CNES) in 2014 :
- For defence, Athéna-Fidus, due to be launched in January ;
- For telecommunications, the electric-powered satellite, which is one of the 34 projects chosen under the New Industrial France programme ;
- For observation, IASI-NG, which exemplifies successful cooperation between the CNES, the ESA and EUMETSAT ;
- For science, Rosetta – which in May, 10 years after its launch,will reach Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and in November, will release the Philae lander – and, for Ariane, Ariane 6.
2014 will also be devoted to preparing the ESA Council meeting at ministerial level, which will be held in Luxembourg in December and will have to rule on relations between the ESA and the European Union, the role of Europe in the scientific exploration of space, and the future of European launchers.
The work that has been done in France for several years to guarantee the long-term future of the Ariane programme shows that, in 2014 more than ever, the CNES will be an opportunity for Europe.
With its 2,450 employees, the CNES is a source of innovation for employment and competitiveness. Thus, 16,000 jobs in metropolitan France are dedicated to space, as well as 1,700 in Guiana, which generate five times as many indirect jobs – i.e. nearly 20% of the Guianese population. Through this contribution to job creation, the CNES is clearly a major player in the French economy.
The CNES budget is rising sharply and is on the way to reaching EUR 2.127 billion, the highest level for more than 10 years. 80% of this budget goes directly to the French industry, to the benefit of employment and competitiveness, given that, in the commercial space sector, every euro invested generates EUR 20 of economic repercussions.
2013 was a year of many successes for the CNES in each of its six areas of activity, implemented by its four centres of excellence :
- Toulouse Space Centre for the design of orbital systems ;
- The Launch Vehicles Directorate for the development of launch systems ;
- The Guiana Space Centre for the deployment of European launchers ;
- The headquarters for drawing up our space policy, focusing on relations with the space industry and with our European partners, in the framework of the ESA and the Commission and internationally.
In this regard, the CNES is a major player in our economic diplomacy and has enabled our industry to score many successes.