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Founded in 1961, the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) is the government agency responsible for shaping and implementing France’s Space Policy in Europe. Its task is to invent the Space systems of the future, bring Space technologies to maturity and guarantee France’s independent access to Space.CNES is a pivotal player in Europe’s Space programme, and a major source of initiatives and proposals that aim to maintain France and Europe’s competitive edge. It conceives and executes Space programmes with its partners in the scientific community and industry, and is closely involved in many international cooperation programmes—the key to any  far-reaching Space policy.The agency’s more-than 2,400-strong workforce constitutes an exceptional pool of talent, with some 1,800 engineers and executives, 35% of whom are women. They work in four sites: Paris (headquarters), Evry (launchers), Toulouse (orbital systems), and the Guyana Space centre in Kourou (launch base).Through its ability to innovate and its forward-looking vision, CNES is helping to foster new technologies that will benefit society as a whole, focusing on:- access to Space – civil applications of Space – sustainable development – science and technology research – security and defenceIn FP6, CNES has been co-ordinator for 2 projects and participant in 19 projects coordinated by major Space companies in France and Europe. In FP7, the French National Contact Point organization for the Space work programme is coordinated by CNES and comprises individuals from public bodies and companies involved in the major themes addressed by the work programme.