First day of Farnborough air show
The Farnborough International Air Show opened to blue skies and trade visitors today. Highlights included innovative passenger aircraft, a supersonic car and a dedicated Space Zone showcasing space technology and its importance to the world.
Visitors to the ESA exhibition are able to discover how space can improve our understanding of the Universe and Earth as well as improve the quality of our lives. The exhibition also highlights how space can help to foster European innovation, growth and employment.
The main event in the Space Zone today was aimed at space entrepreneurs. ESA representatives were on hand to give visitors an opportunity to learn about the funding available from ESA for entrepreneurs, space companies keen to diversify and businesses wanting to adapt space technology.
Frank Salzgeber, head of ESA's Technology Transfer Programme Office, says technology transfer is a two-way process. “There is no space technology,” he says. “There are areas where space has a demand for space technology and times when technology developed for space can have much wider benefits.”
As well as having a long record in supporting spin-offs from the space industry, ESA has launched a new venture capital fund to help finance business development.
The agency also recently opened a new research centre in the UK. This facility, at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, has a remit that includes developing key UK strengths in space. It will work closely with space industry to develop new technologies and seek wider benefits from space.
“Farnborough is a great opportunity for us,” says Dr Salzgeber. “The players are all here and you can meet them all in one go.”