A center of excellence at the cutting edge of research and innovation

Charleroi, June 14, 2022 – Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), today welcomed to its plant in Charleroi, Belgium, Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, and Thomas Dermine, Belgian State Secretary for Science Policy, Recovery Program and Strategic Investments.

They were welcomed by Ina Maller, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Belgium, Emmanuel Terrasse, Vice President, Country & Equipment at Thales Alenia Space, and Hervé Derrey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space, who spotlighted the company’s advanced products and solutions, including satellite digitalization for greater mission flexibility, constellations, all-electric propulsion and sustainable space.

The visit also provided the opportunity to exchange on the “New Space” trends for satellites and the company’s open innovation approach in conjunction with its ecosystem of startups, innovative small businesses and research labs, locally and across Europe.

Thales Alenia Space in the time of the digital revolution and of New Space

From more than 15 years, Thales Alenia Space has leveraged its expertise in constellations, navigation systems, Earth observation, and orbital infrastructures to span the different New Space markets concerning the Internet of Things (IoT), search and rescue, and optical observation systems featuring high revisit rates.

The digital transformation is now running in the space sector, and Europe is leading the charge for software- defined flexible satellites and with all-electric propulsion. Thales Alenia Space’s Space Inspire product line, featuring ultra-flexible and fully reprogrammable-in-orbit payloads, has been chosen by major telecom operators, who expect increasingly innovative and agile solutions to adapt to their fast-evolving markets.

Thales Alenia Space and Open Innovation

Thales Alenia Space now enjoys links with more than 700 startups and small businesses, and already has joint projects underway with 150 of these companies. Production processes are evolving as well, due to the introduction of additive manufacturing, robotics and cobotics, plus the creation of FabLabs and an Innovation Cluster. Thales Alenia Space is fully committed to the ongoing digitalization of its products and has already teamed up with innovative SMEs and new companies to start the development of state-of-the-art smallsats and nanosats.

“We are extremely honored by today’s visit in Charleroi. Our company is the largest manufacturer of space electronics in Belgium and a world-leading supplier of power supplies for satellites and launchers. Today, we were able to share some of the key solutions, including electric propulsion, satellite digitalization for greater mission flexibility, constellations and satellites’ sustainability in space,” said Ina Maller, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Belgium.

“At a time when European space sovereignty, whether in terms of industrial capacity or economics, has become a key challenge, it’s absolutely vital that all players work hand in hand to leverage the synergies and complementary capabilities. Europe’s objectives include the development of major programs like the secure connectivity satellite constellation project. Thales Alenia Space is ready to bring to the table its world-class expertise in communications constellations to support this initiative, which is crucial to the everyday lives and security of all Europeans,” Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space.


Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost- effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 2.15 billion euros in 2021 and has around 8,900 employees in 10 countries with 17 sites in Europe and a plant in the US.