France, the world’s 2nd-largest investor in the space sector


At €30 per year per inhabitant, France has the second-largest annual budget per inhabitant devoted to the civilspace sector. It stands behind the United States (€46) but ahead of Germany (€16) and the United Kingdom (€6).

Major projects for 2014

Many projects are to be conducted by the French Space Agency (CNES) in 2014

- for defence, Athéna-Fidus, due to be launched in January

- fortelecommunications, the electric-powered satellite, which is one of the 34 projects chosen under the New Industrial France programme

- forobservation, IASI-NG, which exemplifies successful cooperation between the CNES, the ESA and EUMETSAT

- forscience, Rosetta – which in May, 10years after its launch,will reach Comet

Churyumov-Gerasimenko and in Novemberwill release the Philae lander – and, for Ariane, Ariane 6.

2014 will also be devoted to preparing the ESA Council meeting at ministeriallevel, 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 explorationof 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.

A source of innovation for employment and industry

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. So 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€2.127 billion, the highest level for more than 10 years. 80% of this budget goes directly to French industry, to the benefit of employment and competitiveness, in the knowledge that in the commercial space sector, every euro invested generates €20 of economic repercussions.

The CNES, a player in economic diplomacy

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 and 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.

Last modified on 28/01/2014

top of the page