The history of space in Toulouse goes back to the French Space Agency CNES being established at Toulouse-Rangueil in 1968, followed by renowned research institutes and laboratories. This was pursued in 1980 with the current first ranking European and third ranking global space industry, including launchers, Airbus Defence and Space. The trend was further boosted by the constitution of Thales Alenia Space, the European leader in satellite systems and third globally and Telespazio, the European leader in Space operations, satellite services and applications.
But alongside these giants and a few middle-market companies which all enjoy a global reputation, space in Toulouse also means a constellation of SMEs, with more than 380 enterprises, including rising stars on sectors with tremendous potential. In addition, higher education engineering schools and universities such as ISAE, ENAC, INPT, UPS yearly nurture the Toulouse metropolis pool of outstanding skills.
Far from resting on its laurels, the local authorities continue to invest as never before in the space sector. Indeed, the deployment of the currently under way Toulouse Aerospace campus, an outstanding innovative area of activities fully dedicated to top edge aeronautics and space research and development expertises, will further reinforce and foster the Toulouse leadership onto long terms, sustainable and international basis.
It is in this extremely promising context that Toulouse will in 2017 preside over the Community of Ariane Cities, and all I wish to express here is a single desire: that the Toulouse presidency be for all a new vector for encounters, exchanges, discoveries and opportunities to serve the Europe of space.
Mayor of Toulouse
President of Toulouse Métropole