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Big space in Paris wins International Astronautical Congress

More than 6,500 representatives of the international space community will gather in Paris in 2021 for the 72nd edition of the International Astronautical Congress.

The win has been seen locally as a win for the French capital’s science and space sectors.

Lionel Suchet, Chief Operating Officer of the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), headquartered in central Paris, said the organisation had supported Paris’ bid for the IAC with “great determination and tenacity”.

“The decision pays homage to France’s major role in the international space industry. IAC 2021 will be an excellent opportunity for the CNES – as well as the French space community – to bolster its international influence.”

CNES is a pivotal player in Europe’s space programme, with a pool of talent more than 2,400-strong. The wider French aerospace industry is recognised among the best in the world.

Pierre Schapira, President of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, added: “Last year, Paris hosted 1,110 conferences. The technology sector has the second-largest share of conference activity, and scientific centres are regularly sought after for holding conferences. Hosting the IAC bolsters Paris’s natural connection to the world of science – synonymous with the future and with progress.”

The Paris Convention Centre will host the IAC’s scientists, academics, engineers and international space leaders for the event. The new Centre’s facilities include exhibition halls, meeting rooms, conference rooms, a corporate events space and green terrace with a panoramic view of Paris.

Pablo Nakhlé Cerruti, CEO of Paris venue manager Viparis, said: “The Paris Convention Centre was specifically designed to host the very largest gatherings – international events that bring together several thousand participants. Since its opening less than a year ago, the Centre has already hosted eight world conferences, and 28 more are already in the planning stages through 2023. These excellent results represent a collective win for the CNES, Paris and Viparis, and encourages us to continue our efforts to provide world-class hospitality in an increasingly competitive environment.”