ESA Global Space Economic Forum
ESA’s first Global Space Economic Forum was held at ESA's ESTEC technology centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands on 10 October 2018.
More than 110 speakers and leaders from industry and institutions could exchange ideas on global challenges and innovation opportunities in areas such as cybersecurity, autonomous driving, new materials and energy.
This conference provided a platform for networking and developing partnerships between space and non-space sectors.
Eric Morel de Westgaver, ESA Director of Industry Procurement and Legal Services, and ESA Director General Jan Wörner, opened the event which was followed by two panel discussions.
The first panel discussion – ‘Developing interdisciplinary business models to enlarge the space ecosystem’ – involved Mark Boggett, CEO at Seraphim Capital, Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications and Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director of Earth Observation.
During the second discussion – ‘Exploring innovative solutions: spinning-along emerging technologies’ – Reija Viinanen, Director of Aurora Collaboration, Finnish Transport Agency, Paul Verhoef, ESA Director of Navigation and David Parker, ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration discussed new perspectives on autonomous driving in extreme environments.
The morning session was concluded by the presentation on the outcomes of a previous event – GSEW@Italy “Space Cybersecurity for mobility” – and by a round table focused on cybersecurity, involving non-space companies such as Hewlett Packard and Guardtime.
The afternoon session started with the presentation of an ESA Grand Challenge worth €500 000 sponsored by UK’s Metalysis – which will reward new technology helping us to create metals from resources found on other planets.
The Challenge is part of ESA’s Space 4.0 commitment to competitions that create new European entrepreneurs, innovation-led start-ups and new ventures. It is the product of a consultation process with ESA’s 22 Member States and will run until 2021.
A final panel discussion with representatives from Airbus, CNES, Harwell Campus and Catapult focused on opportunities for bringing together space and non-space industry and research, to spark innovation. Many examples were given with the key message that joining forces and listening to each other can greatly benefit citizens.
During this year’s Global Space Economic Forum, inspirational speakers discussed issues on several domains, from cybersecurity to new materials, from migration to sustainable development goals.
The event closed with conclusions presented by Geraldine Naja, ESA Head of Industrial Policy and Auditing Department, after which some of the participants expressed their interest to organise follow-up events concerning the topics discussed during the event.
Future Global Space Economic Workshop events will be organised within ESA Member States with the next one expected to be hosted in Estonia.
Eric Morel de Westgaver commented: “The projects that have been created to further explore and develop the concepts outlined during these workshops are creating an important bridge between the space and non-space domains, thus integrating space with the economy and society which is the spirit of ESA's Space 4.0.”
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