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Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole helping conquer space

Information updated on 19/11/18

Intense space news in Montpellier.

Following the inauguration of the Aerospace Valley facility on April 16, and the signature of a cooperation agreement between Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, CNES, and the InSpace institute for the Smart City on April 18, the ActInSpace innovation competition landed in Montpellier on May 25 - 26, and 70 other cities around the world.

Space technologies have impact in many areas. With the agreement signed on April 18, Montpellier Métropole is cooperating with the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) and the InSpace institute to implement space solutions, notably accessing high-resolution satellite images, for urban development and management, environmental applications, agriculture, and even mobility. “This will be a key reference for creating an observatory for the territory and connected city,” confirms Montpellier Métropole president Philippe Saurel. Research laboratories and startups will be involved, notably via the Booster Nova innovation program and ESA Big Sud de France incubator. Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole is participating in these initiatives through the Aerospace Valley worldwide competitiveness cluster, whose Montpellier branch (already with 35 members), was inaugurated on April 16.

Montpellier is a recognized base for research and training on the topic of nanosatellites, thanks to the University Space Center, which is assisted by the Van Allen Foundation and the University of Montpellier. On April 5, astronaut Thomas Pesquet visited University of Montpellier and shared his experience in a packed amphitheater.

Montpellier is also one of the 71 cities in 34 countries where the ActInSpace competition took place on May 25-26. It was held at the University of Montpellier EAI campus. Created by CNES, the European Space Agency, and ESA BIC Sud de France, ActInSpace was an opportunity for students, researchers, and entrepreneurs to rise to many different challenges related to applying aerospace technologies to everyday life. The winners of the world final, to be held on June 27 at the CNES Toulouse Space Show, will be invited for a flight on the Airbus Zero-G aircraft to experience weightlessness.

* ActInSpace sponsors in Montpellier: Crédit Agricole du Languedoc, Harmonie Mutuelle, SNCF, Fondation Van Allen, Atos, Pépite LR, University of Montpellier Doctoral College, and the Montpellier Academy of Doctors and PhD Students Contact association.

Find out more:
- Montpellier Space Center and Van Allen Foundation
- Aerospace Valley
- ESA BIC Sud de France incubator 
- ActInSpace competition in Montpellier 
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