The advantage of a network

Founder members & supporting institutions

Founder members

Université de Montpellier

6th French university

3D Plus

World leader in 3D electronic components for space

AIRBUS Defence & Space

The world’s second largest space company

LATECOERE Branche Interconnection Systems

World-class leader in interconnection systems for aeronautics and space (1st for avionics rack, 2nd for electrical hernesses, 1st in Europe for satellite wiring)


A recognized worldwide player in testability solutions and critical systems continuous improvement paving the way of predictive solutions

ZODIAC DATA SYSTEMS (Groupe Zodiac Aerospace)

Globally recognised specialist in high-tech space and aeronautical systems for airborne and ground telemetry and embedded information management

Supporting institutions


Institutional support to the funds Feder

Région OCCITANIE Pyrénées – Méditerranée

The Region has been supporting us since the beginning of the adventure.


Institutional support of the National Center for Space Studies (Agence Spatiale Française)


Institutional support of the European Space Agency

Leading personalities on the Board of Directors: a strategy defined by experts

A Word from the President

“Nanosatellites have opened up a new space era where space engines are conceived and designed differently. Space has become accessible: first, to students, trained in the field, and second, to new industrialists, even those who are not from the space sector and who never thought about it. The Van Allen Foundation was created to draw together all the players, thereby demonstrating that such projects enable Montpellier University to supply skilled human resources, and that young students can learn excellence at university. Our ambition is to make Montpellier University Space Centre an international benchmark centre for nanosatellites.” Michel COURTOIS,  President of the Van Allen Foundation

Leading personalities on the Board of Directors: a strategy defined by experts.

  • Michel COURTOIS, Président of the Van Allen Foundation, former Directeur of CNES Toulouse and l’ESA/ESTEC, Member of the Academy of Technologies.
  • Jean-Jacques DORDAIN, Former Director of ESA
  • Charles ELACHI, Former Director of JPL/NASA
  • Jean-Claude GAYSSOT, Former Minister, President of the Campaign Committee
  • Thierry LEVEUGLE, President of ThiReX Engineering
  • Franco ONGARO, Technical Director, ESA
  • Marc PIRCHER, Former Director of CNES Toulouse, Member of the Technologies Academy
  • Michel TOGNINI, French Astronaut, Former Director of ESA astronauts centre

Campaign Committee Ambassadors

A Word from the President

The Van Allen Foundation needs the support of everyone, entrepreneurs, decision makers, opinion leaders, science experts, who, like myself, are committed to building our young people’s future. A new French nanosatellite sector is up and running, providing new economic and job opportunities. The leading space agencies, industry leaders, etc. all have their eyes on France and Montpellier. We need to support these initiatives together. Join me, Bernard Bigot, Anne Bondiou-Clergerie, Christophe Carniel, Jean-Paul Herteman, Daniel Kunth and Hubert Reeves to support the Van Allen Foundation.Jean-Claude GAYSSOT, President of the Van Allen Foundation Campaign Committee

  • Jean-Claude GAYSSOT, President of the Van Allen Foundation Campaign Committee, Former Minister
  • Bernard BIGOT, CEO d’ITER
  • Anne BONDIOU-CLERGERIE, Director “Affaires R&D, Espace et Environnement”, GIFAS
  • Christophe CARNIEL, CEO VoGo, President of LR Transfers
  • Jean-Paul HERTEMAN, Former CEO, Safran Group
  • Daniel KUNTH, Director of Recherche CNRS, Astrophysicist
  • Hubert REEVES, Astrophysicist

Members of the Partners Club of the Van Allen Foundation

Partners Club

The Foundation Van Allen has created its own Partners Club, an information and sharing network that companies can join while supporting the nanosatellites of the 1st French University Space Centre. Companies can join by sponsoring us (tax deductible), the fee is proportional to turnover.


MAGELLIUM has recognised expertise in the field of software engineering and geographical information systems, digital geography, solutions for geographical data production, signal and image processing, and more. MAGELLIUM’s expertise was further strengthened when it became part of the Artal Group in 2016: with 300 top-level engineers, this alliance (between a geo-information and imaging expert and an industrial systems software specialist) transformed it into an ISE operating in the fields of image and sensitive data processing and systems engineering on behalf of the aeronautics, defence, space, energy and the environment sectors. . More information +


OOCEASOFT is a global leader in smart, connected sensors for the life sciences and food processing industries as well as the environment (Industrial Internet of Things).By mastering three areas of expertise: sensors and calibration, wireless transmission and software platform development, the firm offers a comprehensive and verticalised service, ranging from sensors to fitting them in information systems. More information +


OMICRON has been developing and manufacturing electronic cards and systems since 1982.It specialises in manufacturing, from prototypes to mass production. OMICRON is an industrial partner drawing on a high-quality outsourcing service in electronics, cabling, CmS and EmS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) for the most demanding sectors (medical, nuclear, and military, etc.) .More information +


SODERN has been developing its expertise in cutting edge technology for over fifty years.The company is world renowned for its attitude sensors (star trackers and rendez-vous sensors, etc.), its high-tech space instruments (such as focal planes, cameras and seismometers), detection and analysis systems using neutron sources and its neutron instrumentation systems. SODERN pursues and policy of constant innovation to best meet the needs of its clients on a permanent basis.More information +


SODITECH is an SME specialising in the integration of mechanical, thermal and electronic subassemblies for the space, research and defence sectors. For more than 25 years, SODITECH has offered leading industrial companies a full range of project management services, from the specification stage to integration. More information +

The Van Allen Foundation has a presence in the sector’s key networks

Membre d’Aerospace Valley

A global business cluster aimed at making the aeronautics, space and embedded systems sector in the two French regions of Occitanie and Nouvelle Aquitaine more competitive at the national, European and international levels. Aerospace Valley is a cluster of businesses, research institutes, training establishments and other institutions working in this sector.

Membre du Club Galaxie

An Occitanie-based business club, with nearly 90 member companies and institutions mainly from the space industry and related sectors and bodies. Its mission is to promote and respond to the needs of business entrepreneurs and managers in Toulouse and the surrounding region. Comprising very small businesses to large-scale groups in both industrial production and services, it covers numerous business sectors. Club Galaxy is headquartered in the influential Cité de l’Espace and contributes to its reputation.

Official support from GIFAS

French aeronautics and space industry federation