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Toulouse, a Silicon Valley for SMEs in the space sector

Thursday, 13 February, 2020

Toulouse and the greater metropolitan area is a global hub for satellites and space innovation. The world capital of aeronautics alone accounts for 30% of the entire European workforce in the space sector. Beyond the market giants, such as Airbus Defence & Space and Thales Alenia Space, it is mainly SMEs, microbusinesses and start-ups that drive growth with their ambition.

With the arrival of Cnes in Toulouse in the early 1960s, many small satellite structures were launched at the national agency, allowing the major industry players to improve their responsiveness. Over the decades they have joined together to form a competitive cluster, thanks to the sector’s dynamism, and have even worked as a collective to be mutually supportive. Last year, a dozen companies which are members of Newspace Factory created a task force to meet the needs of international players in satellite constellations. These included: Anywaves, Callisto and Comat. They already have strong credentials, with contributions to major international programs such as the International Space Station, the Rosetta Mission, the NASA Insight program to study Mars, and more. With its proximity to training organizations like ISAE-SUPAERO and ENAC, which provide a pool of graduates in the sector, Toulouse can look forward to fine days ahead among the stars.