Innovators’ Club review: Space vs. Non-space at the new Innovation Center

Overview

The first Innovators’ Club event held in the Auditorium of the all new Innovation Center in Darmstadt on May 16th took attendees on a space odyssey into the future. The focus topic: demonstrating how technologies developed in space can have a big impact here on earth!

Publish Date

28 MAY 2018

The first Innovators’ Club event held in the Auditorium of the all new Innovation Center in Darmstadt on May 16th took attendees on a space odyssey into the future. The focus topic: demonstrating how technologies developed in space can have a big impact here on earth!

Space vs non-space was the topic of our recent Innovators’ Club event at the new Innovation Center in Darmstadt, featuring keynote speaker Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office at the European Space Agency (ESA). The moderator on the day was Sarah Cruddas, a renowned space journalist and broadcaster from the UK.

Frank’s keynote presentation began by explaining the current state of space technology within the ESA. For example, satellite pictures of the earth produced by the ESA via the Galileo program are already available to the public at a far higher resolution than Google Earth pictures. This is proving very helpful for companies and startups working in the space research area, of which the ESA already supports over 160. Frank then went onto explain how in the future, satellite technology could provide every person on the planet with Internet access. This would quality of life for all and open up education opportunities to the millions of people who currently have none.

The moderated part of the session began with a debate on the current race to commercialize space. Frank was quick to point out that greater cooperation between space agencies and private companies from outside the industry would accelerate the process significantly.

Next, the conversation moved on to the effort that startups put into innovation, and the importance of the ESA’s startup investments. Frank outlined the importance and strengths of young professionals in the industry who are hungry for success and development. Furthermore, he explained that in addition to innovation, investment and belief in the value of innovation, as well as the acceptance of frequent failure as a necessary part of the innovation process, are all critical success factors.

Finally, Frank commented on the technology transfer between space agencies and non-space companies, and their interdependence in terms of research and development. He stressed that success in both environments is dependent on long-term cooperation. In addition, Frank talked about how the recruitment of people with different skills and almost no experience in the space industry can often help to create new insights and ideas. However, Frank also concluded that because of concerns about the risks of sharing technologies, there is still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to collaboration.

 

 

 


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