The event dedicated to detailing Occitanie’s space sector strategy took place in the historical city of Brussels.
BWI has had the rare honor to have been invited to the unveiling of Occitanie’s space strategy in Brussels. The main aim of this road-map is to ensure a sustainable and better future for the space domain in EU. BWI takes pride to be in Occitanie, a region that is at the forefront when it comes to space innovation.
Jalil Benabdillah, the Vice-President of the Occitanie Region on behalf of President Carole Delga, unveiled a comprehensive space strategy for the region. The key elements of this presentation include:
BWI was particularly intrigued to learn more about the strategy’s encouragement of innovative methods, apparent in the presence of delegations from Spain and Germany, particularly from the Comunidad autonoma de Cataluña and Hessen Länder, supporting cross-border initiatives.
Occitanie’s space sector consists of a diversely remarkable ecosystem, including research institutions like CNES, ONERA, ISA, and major manufacturers such as AIRBUS DS and THALES ALENIA SPACE which capture a major global share when it comes to the global telecommunications market.
The main strength of the spatial sector in the Occitanie region of France lies in the undertaking of space-related missions, satellite development, and creating value for national and international projects alike. Moreover, spacial data is of great use to the creation of innovative commercial applications. Therefore, the space domain has only been on rise in terms of importance.
In the already rapidly evolving domain, the emergence of NewSpace has led to new technological opportunities and market dynamics. This has led to the entry of new players, thereby leading to an increase in competition. In particular, spatial data has become a strategic asset when it comes to public and private entities, especially concerning telecommunications and large amounts of data transmission from satellites
The Occitanie region has had a major role in this transformation, being an internationally renowned industrial research space-ecosystem. One of the reasons for this is the focus on nanosatellites which led to the production of several innovative products.
Did you know? The Occitanie region ranks first in France when it comes to both employment in the space sector, and innovation!
Despite its several advantages, the region faces some challenges in maintaining its position amidst rapid changes. Moreover, there is always a need to reinvent competencies to stay competitive globally in our current world. Challenges such as aligning with European Commission priorities, supporting NewSpace actors, consolidating launch capabilities, and contributing to programs require comprehensive planning.
This is particularly relevant with the acceleration of space activities such as the proliferation of space agencies worldwide and competition among European space agencies. Besides, emerging laws increase the likelihood of conflicts, orbital congestion, and cyberattacks on space-related data. As the telecommunications sector is of high importance, there’d be a need to align with the priorities of space research as well.
In a nut shell, according to Occitanie’s vision, some major challenges to address are:
Essentially, finding the right balance between responsible innovation and competitive spirit is what Occitanie’s space sector is aiming to do.
With a planned budget of 30 million Euros, Occitanie aims to fund strategic industrial projects, organise training programs for emerging space-related professions, and host an international event. With Toulouse growing in importance as Europe’s Space capital, this decision indeed seems very apt.
According to it’s roadmap, Occitanie plans to organize it’s actions around the following four categories:
With a focus on education, sustainability, collaboration, research and innovation, this comprehensive plan seeks to stimulate the space industry in Occitanie.