ONERA's wind tunnel
10 January 2019

Aerospace research: new investments announced for medal-winning ONERA

The National Office for Aerospace Studies and Research (ONERA), which has just received the Aeronautical Medal from Florence Parly in recognition of its major contribution to French and European aerospace, is set to benefit from an exceptional investment of €160 million in order to consolidate its sites in Île-de-France. A loan of €47 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) will also enable ONERA to modernise its large wind tunnels.

On 10 January 2019, Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, visited ONERA’s site in Palaiseau (Essonne) to meet its employees.

The Minister announced that an exceptional sum of €160 million would be granted by the State to ONERA, a public institution under the supervision of the Ministry for the Armed Forces, enabling it to consolidate its three sites in Île de France (Meudon, Châtillon and Palaiseau) into a single facility in Palaiseau. This large-scale real-estate operation will be partly financed through the sale of the land released as a result.

This project, which has been sought for many years, will strengthen the synergies within ONERA, as well as with the other operators located on the Saclay plateau.

Florence Parly also announced the signing of an exceptional loan of €47 million granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to modernise ONERA’s fleet of wind tunnels, the largest in Europe. This loan, the first to be granted by the EIB in Europe to a defence organisation, will serve to strengthen infrastructures and modernise ONERA’s metrology tools to ensure it remains one of the best facilities in the world, at a time when international competition is intensifying.

In view of the priority given by the President of the Republic and the Minister for the Armed Forces to implementing a defence space strategy, as well as the emergence of new threats, France must be ready to respond and innovate. The Minister thus expressed the high expectations placed upon ONERA, which over several years has achieved numerous successes in the space sector – calls for research projects by the European Commission (H2020) and ESA.

Finally, Florence Parly presented the Aeronautical Medal to ONERA in recognition of the contribution its employees have made to research and innovation in the fields of defence, aeronautics and space.

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