ESA expands its services for commercial utilisation of ISS

ISS Lab Ruhr will market and sell the use of the European facilities and resources on board ISS
22 October 2004

The European Space Agency has appointed ISS Lab Ruhr GmbH, a German company, as its Commercial Agent to market and sell the use of the European facilities and resources on board the International Space Station (ISS) to the biotechnology, health, food and nutrition market sectors throughout Europe.

This appointment is a major milestone in the commercialisation of the Space Station and is expected to lead to many companies across Europe becoming aware of the R&D opportunities that are available to them on board the ISS.

ISS Lab Ruhr GmbH is a company that has been specifically established to promote the commercial utilisation of the ISS. Through its management skills, as the exclusive Commercial Agent in the above-mentioned sectors, it also coordinates the European marketing and selling activities of its highly experienced and specialist partners, namely: Enterprise Management Technology Transfer GmbH (EMBL-EM), Germany - the commercial arm of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL); the French Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology (MEDES), and the AGT Group, Italy.

Dr Kremer ISS Lab Ruhr
Dr Uwe Kremer of ISS Lab Ruhr GmbH and Mr Feustel-Buechl, ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight, sign the contract

In 2001, following market research, ESA decided to commercialise the European part of the ISS and since that date has set up an organisational structure to carry out marketing, project development and, through the Cooperation Agreement the ability to offer a complete range of services to access the ISS.

Recently the international commercial law firm Bird & Bird joined the Cooperation Agreement. Bird & Bird has offices across Europe and the Far East and operates on the basis of an in-depth understanding of key industry sectors. It focuses on aviation & aerospace, banking & financial services, communications, e-commerce, information technology, media, life sciences and sport.

Bird & Bird
Bird & Bird join the Cooperation Agreement

Bird & Bird works with some of the world's most innovative and technologically advanced companies and their expertise in the area of Intellectual Property Rights will be an added value to the portfolio of services offered through the Commercial Agent to customers. This in particular will enable customers to secure and exploit the benefits of their R&D activities carried out on board the ISS.

For more information contact:

M. Belingheri
ISS Commercial Promotion Office
European Space Agency
ESTEC, MSM-EC, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands
tel.: 00 31 71 565 4687
fax : 00 31 71 565 5232
e-mail :

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