'Spacebrains' is a new ESA-backed initiative that is set to offer a unique opportunity for young people pursuing studies and careers in space research and innovation.
Set up originally as the ESA Endowment Fund, Spacebrains is a non-profit foundation that will fund particularly ambitious and ‘disruptive’ projects of students and young scientists.
Its objectives are to finance new ESA activities without relying on additional contributions from Member States. It will promote entrepreneurship for the future of European space industry, as well as sustaining initiatives and concepts with potential high business impact. It will also foster disruptive concepts relevant for space, which could not be funded through ESA activities and programmes.
At the heart of Spacebrains is a sustainable funding mechanism at no cost for Member States. Financial resources will come from grants, gifts or legacies from those willing to support the fund, as well as potential ESA investment in specific undertakings where any benefit from such investment is credited back to the foundation.
But an important new approach is the auction of primarily redundant or unserviceable ESA assets or those of its Member States willing to participate in this mechanism (free from obligation vis-à-vis third parties and having due regard to ESA Financial Regulations).
For ESA and its Member States, the benefits from Spacebrains are a new funding source for innovation and the creation of a cycle of reinvesting the financial resources resulting from auctions of redundant or unserviceable assets.
Spacebrains will constitute a reference for early European entrepreneurs with visionary space ideas. It will also be a way to establish partnerships with the thriving European ecosystem of university and accelerator innovators, in order to offer an environment to develop their success.
With Spacebrains we will be encouraging the best minds, developing young talent and fostering the space leaders of the future.