2nd SCO France Congress: "We have solutions"

Published on 21/07/2023
The second SCO France Congress opened in Paris on Tuesday 30 May 2023. With high-level presentations, round-table discussions and demonstrations of operational services, the event highlighted the fundamental way of working that makes the SCO a key alliance in the fight against climate change.

The day after the first World Space Conference on Climate Change (GLOC23), the SCO France Congress brought together 119 members of its community, a remarkable patchwork of scientists, public institutions, elected representatives and local players, businesses, associations, etc. In a world where "adapting to the impacts of climate change is THE challenge of the century", the SCO's message is an optimistic one: "we have solutions". Solutions in which the private sector has a key role to play, which is why this conference is being hosted by the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty. As Philippe Baptiste, President of CNES, points out, "The SCO makes it possible to take the final step between space data and users, so that they can benefit society as a whole. [...] Thanks to its community, SCO France is playing a leading role with remarkable results".

By way of example, five project leaders presented the services or operational demonstrators they have developed as part of the SCO: Stock Water (worldwide), Gade Lapli (Haiti), Band-SOS (Bengal Delta), SCOLive (France) and Space4Irrig (France).

Two round-table discussions highlighted the potential of space as a lever for public action, where the SCO can help to provide a clearer offer, as well as the need to develop an ecosystem of climate and environmental services. In these respects, Thomas Courbe, Director General of Enterprises, referred in his preamble to the France 2030 plan, which "has set itself the challenge of taking up the frontiers of space and uniting the entire ecosystem to be at the cutting edge. [Between calls for tenders and calls for expressions of interest to identify the needs of territories,] the France 2030 plan devotes a special section to the need for data, particularly on forest fires, monitoring coastal erosion, the resilience of urban planning and water management".

"We need to provide the nation with a control center to understand and anticipate phenomena. [...] The SCO enables us to think in terms of usage and scaling up." SĂ©bastien Soriano, IGN CEO

The morning ended with ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), IDDRI (French Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations) and Météo-France signing the SCO Charter. The next signings will inaugurate the involvement of the private sector in the SCO alliance, with CLS and Loft Orbital joining.

"The role of the SCO, particularly in France, is to put in place long-term solutions based on trust and reliability." Laurence Monnoyer-Smith, Director of the CNES Sustainable Development Delegation and head of SCO France

Conference speakers

❖ Preamble:

  • Thomas Courbe, Director General of Enterprises
  • Philippe Baptiste, CEO of CNES

❖ Crossed views "Big ambitions for data":

  • SĂ©bastien Soriano, CEO of IGN
  • Pascale Ultre-Guerard, Deputy Director of Strategy at CNES

❖ Demonstrations:

❖ Round table: "Spatial planning as a lever for public action to help local and regional authorities adapt to climate change":

  • Diane Simiu, General Commissariat for Sustainable Development (Ministry of Ecological Transition and Solidarity)
  • Jean-Luc Fugit, Deputy (National Assembly)
  • Bertrand Walckenaer, AFD
  • Baptiste Perrissin Fabert, ADEME

❖ Round table "Developing an ecosystem of services that make the most of environmental and climate data":

  • Julie Letertre, ECMWF
  • Carole Vachet, DGE
  • Philippe Lattes, Cymoon
  • Aravind Ravichandran, TerraWatch Space