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CNES and Lyonbiopole join forces to promote space applications serving healthcare


Thursday 29 March in Lyon, CNES and the Lyonbiopole competitiveness cluster organized a first day of discussion looking at how space services can benefit healthcare, in partnership with the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes health ecosystem. Gilles Rabin, CNES’s Director of Innovation, Applications and Science, and Christophe Cizeron, President of Lyonbiopole, gave the welcome addresses before an audience of representatives from start-ups, SMEs and big firms operating in the fields of biotechnologies, medical systems, diagnostics and e-health, as well as from clinical and academic research centres. CNES’s health teams and the Executive Director of its MEDES health subsidiary were also in attendance.


The health sector is being transformed by the power of the digital revolution. Personalized medicine, burgeoning nanotechnologies, big data and easier access to digital technologies are all shaping the future of medicine. Space is supporting this transformation by providing its expertise to enable better access to care, by boosting R&D and by enhancing the overall healthcare offering. To this end, CNES and Lyonbiopôle are joining forces to pursue a shared development and partnership strategy seeking to leverage innovations in space.



During the one-day event hosted by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, three roundtable sessions gave participants the opportunity to share their visions on the use of space technologies in healthcare, on what constitutes a healthy habitat in the hostile environment of spaceflight and on monitoring of astronaut health in space, particularly in light of the synergies that exist with ageing and sedentary lifestyles on Earth. Speakers from CNES and healthcare firms provided their insight into these domains and the event closed with the signature of a partnership agreement between the two entities.


In his address, Gilles Rabin underlined the importance that CNES attaches to spurring innovation in the French space sector. Through its Connect by CNES initiative, the agency is encouraging communities to use satellite solutions, facilitating technology spin-off as a source of disruptive innovation and driving economic development. This initiative offers support to these communities with a view to forging partnerships. Increased uptake of digital technologies will bring benefits in many areas and the partnership with Lyonbiopole will promote closer ties with the health sector.




Christophe Cizeron emphasized how this unique partnership with CNES is going to help Lyonbiopôle work with stakeholders from different horizons to meet the major challenges facing the health sector, anticipate future developments in medicine and federate expertise across a range of disciplines. “This major partnership confirms that Lyonbiopole and stakeholders in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes health ecosystem are set to play a pivotal role structuring innovation in healthcare in France,” he said. Today’s event was the first in a series designed to spawn innovative solutions.