PARIS --- French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly announced today, while visiting the Palaiseau site of ONERA, an exceptional investment of 160 million euros to finance the consolidation of ONERA’s research sites located in the Ile de France region.
She also announced a loan of 47 million euros from the European Investment Bank to enable ONERA to modernize its large wind tunnels. Lastly, she presented ONERA with the aeronautical medal for its major contribution to French and European aerospace.
Florence Parly on Thursday January 10 visited the ONERA facility at Palaiseau (Essonne) to meet the staff of ONERA, a public institution under the supervision of the Ministry of the Armed Forces.
The minister announced that an exceptional amount of 160 million euros would be granted by the state to ONERA to consolidate its three sites in Ile de France (Meudon, Châtillon, and Palaiseau) into a single facility at Palaiseau. This large-scale real estate transaction will be partially financed by the sale of the land thus released.
This project, which has been under consideration for many years, will strengthen internal synergies within ONERA, as well as with the other players located on the Saclay plateau.
Florence Parly also announced the signing of an exceptional loan of 47 million euros granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to modernize ONERA’s range of wind tunnels, the largest in Europe. This loan, the first to a defense organization in Europe, will consolidate infrastructure and modernize ONERA's metrology instruments to maintain it as a world-leading facility at a time of intensifying international competition.
Given the priority given by the President of the Republic and the Minister of the Armed Forces to the implementation of a defense space strategy, as well as the emergence of new threats, France must put itself in battle order and innovate.
The minister expressed strong expectations for ONERA, which for several years has won many successes in the field of space – most recently calls for research projects of the European Commission (H2020) and ESA.
Finally, Florence Parly decorated ONERA with the Médaille de l’Aéronautique (aeronautics medal), in recognition of the contribution of its personnel to research and innovation in defense, aeronautics and space.