PM emphasizes importance of French space industry report
Paris, 26 July 2016
The Prime Minister was today handed the parliamentary report produced by Geneviève Fioraso, National Assembly Deputy for Isère, on the future of the French space industry, in the presence of Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research, and Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defence.
The report highlights how the space industry is undergoing a double revolution: a digital one, with new players investing in the space industry, which is considered with the health sector as the biggest supplier of retrievable data (big data); and competition from America and emerging countries, resulting in a reduction in the cost of launch and satellite infrastructures.
Geneviève Fioraso proposes turning this into an opportunity for change by drawing on the scientific, technological and industrial strengths which give France European leadership. The proposals made in her report address five major challenges which have been identified:
Accelerating the opening-up of the space industry to an applications-driven approach open to those in the digital sector and their methodology;
Strengthening France and Europe’s strategic autonomy, especially for launchers and satellites contributing to defence intelligence and action capabilities;
Public support for an industry that is one of the investments for the future with strong potential for the economy;
The development of cooperation between the major French players to pool R&D efforts and conquer export markets;
The need to make public decision-makers and the general public aware of the concrete applications of space technology.
The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of this report and its conclusions, particularly with a view to preparations for the ESA Ministerial Council in Lucerne at the end of the year. He was especially sympathetic to the idea of opening up the sector to players in the digital sector and their approach, and he asked the various ministers involved to draw on the report’s conclusions in conducting French space policy./.