ESA’s Technology and Industrial Matters day at Le Bourget attracts great interest
On Wednesday 20 June the ESA/CNES pavilion at the Le Bourget Air Show was dedicated to technology and industrial matters.
Mr Hanspeter Schneiter, ESA’s Industrial Ombudsman, was present throughout the day to meet with representatives of industry and to answer their questions.
ESA/Eurospace discussion on space activities
The day started with a round table on the expectations of industry concerning space agencies, with the participation of Mr A. Carlier, President of Eurospace and Mr H. Kappler, ESA Director of Industrial Matters and Technology Programmes. It was attended by representatives of European space industry, international organisations and the press.
Mr Kappler recalled that the next ESA Council at ministerial level to be held in November in Edinburgh is expected to take major decisions to implement the joint ESA/EU European Strategy for space activities. Mr Kappler introduced the new opportunities to be opened for industry within the areas of the International Space Station, Earth observation, the Galileo programme, telecommunication, launchers and science programmes.
As Mr Kappler pointed out during the meeting, to draw the maximum benefits from the new programmes, a close dialogue between ESA and the industry should be fostered “We need help from the industry to put the Programmes in line with industrial needs. Industry must participate to provide the right input for ESA Programmes”
The discussion ended with the signature by ESA and Eurospace of a Memorandum of Agreement, formalising the long-term relationship between ESA and Eurospace. Cooperation between the two organisations involves the mutual exchange of information and consultation to prepare for major decisions concerning ESA’s future programmes, European competitiveness in world markets, technology harmonisation, contract procurement procedures and intellectual property rights.
T4TECH on line
Andrea Barbagelata, from the Italian technology broker D’Appolonia, presented T4TECH, an on-line technology market for Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME) supporting technology transfer. The main objective of www.T4TECHonline.com is to fill the gap between technology and the industrial needs of users. It provides an on-line consultancy service with highly qualified experts free of charge, as well as additional (payable) services to answer more complex issues concerning technology transfer.
The T4TECH portal commenced in February 2001 and it is used primarily by technology experts in European SMEs to find an answer to their questions cheaply and quickly. Statistics show that the site has a daily average of 200 visitors, most of whom are from private companies, and that the number of visitors is increasing. In addition, the T4TECH service has already led to three new successful technology transfers cases:
- ROBOCLIMBER: a project for developing a climbing robot for slope monitoring and landslide consolidation (900 000 EURO)
- SPACEGEAR: a feasibility study of a new concept for moving semi-trailers from road to track (45 000 EURO)
- WEBLINC: a project for developing an integrated web system, offering telemedicine services, involving all the principal European oncological medical centres (330 000 EURO)
As a next step T4TECH has decided to extend this service to other industrial fields, such as textiles, automobiles, transportation, plastics, etc.
Information on ESA and industry
Throughout the week information was made available on ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme, on industrial opportunities and on the special initiative for SMEs and on-line demonstrations of ESA’s EMITS system and the Industry web site were given.