Scholarship

France announces a major investment of 9 billion euros in t

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borneo’s speech at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris on September 18, 2022 (AFP/Emmanuel DUNAND)

France is preparing to invest more than 9 billion euros in the space sector over the next three years, an envelope that includes many of the credits already voted, Elisabeth Borne announced on Sunday at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris.

“In total, France is preparing to invest more than 9 billion euros in the space sector over the next three years, for research and our space industry,” declared the prime minister at the opening of the IAC, which brings together several thousand representatives of the world space community until Thursday.

These “big” investments are part of the space strategy defined by President Emmanuel Macron last February, she emphasized.

“The first strategy is to maintain with Europe our autonomy of access to space” and for this “we need strong means and cutting-edge research”, Ms Borne pleaded, detailing launch vehicle ambitions (Ariane 6), industrial competitiveness and exploration. , climate and defense.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne (d), astronaut Thomas Pesquet (c) and Cnes (National Center for Space Studies) director Philippe Baptiste at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris on September 18, 2022

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne (r), astronaut Thomas Pesquet (c) and Cnes (National Center for Space Studies) director Philippe Baptiste at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris on September 18, 2022 (AFP/ Emmanuel Dunand)

The €9 billion envelope includes credits for the space component of France’s 2030 investment plan (€1.5 billion), funds for the trajectory of the research program law voted until 2030, “massive” funds for CNES (National Center for Space Studies) , as well as the law on military programming for the years 2019-2025 (5 billion euros).

It also includes another French contribution to the budget of the European Space Agency, which will be voted on at a ministerial conference in November in Paris. On this occasion, the exact budget of France will be discussed, Matignon said.

ESA intends to ask its 22 member states for around €18 billion to fund its programs over the next three years.

“It is essential that we give this global framework,” Jean-Marc Astorg, director of strategy at CNES, responded to AFP. The envelope provided by the executive “will allow the entire space ecosystem (Cnes, the space industry and the scientific community) to find the most efficient way to assign credits by the end of the year,” he congratulated.

After her speech to the thousands of delegates, the Prime Minister met with representatives of CNES (National Center for Space Studies), the host of the IAC, as well as French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

© 2022 AFP

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