The French Government-Industry Space Coordination Committee (COSPACE)

The 5th meeting of the joint state and space industry working group (COSPACE) took place on 30 June. It was co-Chaired by Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Technology Emmanuel Macron, and Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research Thierry Mandon.

COSPACE involves the entire space sector (industry, operators and state actors) in discussing the major issues facing the space industry. The meeting focused on preparing for the ministerial conference of the European Space Agency, to be held in Lucerne in December 2016.

Thierry Mandon opened proceedings by observing that the space industry is facing drastic price reductions and that we continue to demonstrate that we lead the competition, notably with Ariane 6.

Guided by the need for a strongly united French team, COSPACE noted the important role played in recent years by institutional support in maintaining our space industry’s position at the highest global level, and presented the major challenges for the years to come:

– Accelerating change and an unprecedented wave of development in satellite communications in seven priority fields including new platforms, high throughput satellites and optical technologies;

– The use of new high throughput satellites in providing provide concrete, reactive solutions to bring internet access to people in isolated areas;

– Growing competition in Earth observation due to increased competitiveness;

– The development of the applications sector with a global market estimated at over $150m in 2013. In France this is underpinned by the Booster initiative launched in January 2016, which seeks to create productive relationships between the space sector and digital and applications technologies.

This work was presented by the Chairs of the steering committee, Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, and Jean-Loïc Galle, President of the GIFAS Space Commission.

Jean-Yves Le Gall stated : “Once again the French space sector demonstrates that it is strongly united, which is absolutely key given the challenges it faces.

From the field of applications and their vast market potential to the establishment of future climate monitoring systems in space, such as MicroCarb, everything is in place to keep France ahead of the competition.”

And Jean-Loïc Galle recalled that the “French space sector has maintained its leading position, with a growth in turnover and employment numbers, despite increased competition in both the satellite communications and Earth observation markets. In this context, the joint approach of all actors within COSPACE is more necessary than ever”.

“The French space sector has cutting-edge expertise in Earth observation, telecommunications and climate monitoring. In a highly competitive environment, I am glad of the state support that is vital to maintain our global leadership,” said GIFAS President Marwan Lahoud.

He went on, “The French industry is now committed to sharing space data with start-ups and involving digital actors, key factors if we are to pursue employment growth in the space sector in France and move into new markets.”

Defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, “The creation of Airbus Safran Launchers, which will become fully operational tomorrow, meets an essential need for sovereignty and will be a key actor for French nuclear deterrence.

With the emergence of a real European leader in the space launcher industry France has a decisive asset that will keep us in the front rank of today’s competitive world.”

Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Emmanuel Macron said, “The space industry is key to issues of the sovereignty and competitiveness of our country.

It has already proved its excellence, now it must prove its ability to meet new challenges, such as those posed by the digital revolution. This is crucial if our industry is to remain at the forefront of innovation and technology.”




Fabienne LISSAK-

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