Discours à l’occasion de la conférence EUCASS (Cracovie, 29 juin 2015) [pl]

M. Walter Zinner, President of EUCASS,
M. Gaele Winters, Head of ESA launchers,
M. Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, The French Space agency,
M. Francois Auque, Head of Space Systems of Airbus Group,
M. Marek Banaszkiewicz, Director of Polish Space Agency,
M. Marek Darecki, President of P&W Poland,
M. Andrzej Banasiak, Head of Thalès Alenia Space Poland,
M. Martin Sippel, Head of Launcher System Dpt, DLR, The German Space agency,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like first of all to thank the organizing committee for this invitation to participate in the opening ceremony of this EUCASS conference. I am honoured by it. Much has already been said by previous speakers, so I look forward to your indulgence if I happen to repeat some of their points or to lack their expertise.

Allow me to emphasize that the Aeronautic and Space sectors are playing a pivotal role in the efficient functioning of our modern societies and, over the years, it is comforting to see that Europe has emerged as a leader in aerospace, both at industrial and scientific level.

This was certainly obvious a few weeks ago at the Paris Air Show, probably the most important aerospace show in the world, which welcomed over 350.000 visitors and where a breathtaking 130 billion dollars worth of orders has been announced. The European aerospace sector displays very promising commercial result for companies like Airbus, Airbus Helicopters, Airbus Defence & Space, Thales-Alenia Space, Dassault or Safran.

It shows that Europe has been able to stand up to a threefold challenge.

1/ Firstly an economic challenge.

A short word maybe about air transport, which benefits from a strong and steady growth fed by the increasing number of passengers using planes worldwide. In this field, Europe is a big player.

In the field of space, there is a bustling demand on satellites, insofar as telecommunications, geo-localization or earth observation are relying heavily on them.

In addition to the crucial role of the space sector in our society, knowledge and technologies developed for space contribute to the competitiveness and growth of our industries : aerospace industry of course, but also many others.

The last OECD report on the aerospace economy lists indeed impressive macroeconomic data on recent development and on the perspectives of the future of this sector. In 2013 it provided employment for at least 900.000 persons worldwide. In France, for example, around 180.000 people were employed in aerospace sector in 2014, with over 17.000 people directly employed in the space sector. It is worth mentioning that, in France, we estimate that 1 € of investment in the industrial space sector generates 20 € of economic benefits.

2/ Secondly a technological challenge

The Aerospace sector contributes to the development of cutting edge technologies that lead to applications or developments in other industrial sectors as well. Indeed, innovations required for space exploration, related to miniaturization for example, are driving improvements in other industrial systems and services resulting in higher performance and lower cost.

3/ Thirdly a geopolitical challenge

Since we also rely on aerospace industry for an autonomous use - including exports - of weapons, we have developed a strong and growing air defence sector fueled by to the needs of armies in modern aircrafts as illustrated recently by the Rafale, the French multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation, which has been selected for purchase by the Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force, and the Qatar Air Force.

In the civilian fields, the program Ariane 6 keeps allowing Europe to preserve independent access to space for the upcoming years and decades.

This autonomy also relies on programs monitored by ESA or by the European Commission such as Galileo, the European navigation system about to become operational soon with a full constellation of 30 satellites, Copernicus, with the 5 series of Sentinels earth observation satellites monitoring our planet’s land and oceans. The data are already in use for crop monitoring, harvest prediction, water body monitoring and other geo-information services.

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In this evolving landscape, Poland has earned a well-deserved place. This country has indeed joined the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2012 to become its 20th member and I am pleased that European companies such as Airbus Defense and Space or Thales Alenia Space have already started to work closely with the Polish space sector in the context of ESA calls.

In January 2015 Poland followed up with the creation of the Polish Space Agency (PolSA) which ambitions to coordinate Polish space policy and foster the development of the Polish industrial space sector. Very recently, in March, PolSA signed its first cooperation agreement with the French Space agency (CNES). The two signatories are here today, Jean-Yves Le Gall and Marek Banaszkiewicz and it is my pleasure to congratulate them. They signed the document in the presence and with the blessing of both Ewa Kopacz and Manuel Valls, Prime ministers of Poland and France. Such an alliance is of the utmost importance as successful performance in the space sector requires international cooperation in order to share costs of the programs, and to develop common knowledge and expertise.

As part of a mission of ESA, on November 12, after a journey of 10 years in space, as Chairman of Airbus Space and Defence François Auque just emphasized, the European Rosetta probe reached the Tchouryoumov-Guerasimenko comet and robot Philae landed at its surface. Poland has greatly participated in this scientific and technological success by producing the MUPUS, one of the essential components of Philae. I see in this success the sign of Polish technical excellence and maturity. Poland has now a great opportunity to develop its space industry, which will be beneficial for the other industrial sectors, as has happened in France and in Germany.

I am convinced that the scientific and industrial partnership offered by European scientists and companies to Poland – and I discovered many of them in Mr. Banaszkiewicz’s exposé – will contribute to the development of the whole European aerospace sector.

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your attention. I wish you a fruitful scientific conference.

Dernière modification : 03/07/2015

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