Research laboratories, start-ups, SMEs, and other companies presented their work contributing to the launch systems of the future before a high-level audience. In total, €750,000 in CNES contracts were awarded to the winners, who each received €50,000 or €100,000 to develop their solutions.
On its Innovation Day on February 7 in Toulouse, CNES announced a Launchers R&D Challenge as part of its Connect by CNES initiative, in partnership with Ariane Group and ESA, aimed at facilitating access to funding for launch systems.
The main themes of the challenge are reusability of launcher stages, launcher optimization, treatment of unconventional fuels such as liquid methane, and reducing the carbon footprint. In the context of the current crisis, this unique event aims to support the space ecosystem.
Among the winners:
Oledcomm, which uses LiFi optical communication technology for launcher communication systems.
Commenting on the event, Jean-Marc Astorg, Director of Launchers at CNES, said, “With this Pitch Day, we can say that CNES has achieved its objectives of accelerating the selection and notification of contracts while opening up to new players. I warmly thank all the participants for their excellent presentations and innovative proposals, as the success of the event is primarily due to their efforts, and I look forward to the next challenge of this type organized by CNES.”