Company wins spin-off prize for keeping potato crisps intact
At this year’s Hanover Fair, Christian Wulff, Minister President of Lower Saxony, Germany, awarded the first ‘Space Spin-Off’ prize to the German company HTG Hyperschall Technologie Göttingen. The company was recognised for its outstanding performance in the area of ‘space to non-space technology transfer’.
The constant search for performance enhancement of their machines was the motive for packaging manufacturing company Rovema to include space technology into their systems. It turned out that the challenge to drop a potato crisp into a bag without breaking it is a similar challenge to the landing of a spacecraft.
Both processes need to consider the ideal sinking speed, which ensures the safe landing of the respective object. This entails taking into consideration how the air flow influences temperature, structure, velocity and direction of the descending object.
HTG Hyperschall Technologie Göttingen is a specialist in solving these kinds of problems. By modeling, simulation and calculation as well as advanced measurement, which were all developed while working on ESA projects, HTG was able to develop a crisps-bag-filling-system for Rovema. Integrating this technology originating from space into their new filling machine enabled the company to do the packaging 30 to 50 % faster than before.
The prize was received by Prof. Georg Koppenwallner, owner and CEO of HTG Hyperschall Technologie Göttingen. It came with a 10 000 Euro cash award and the inclusion of the winning technology transfer into the newly established ‘ESA Space Technology Transfer Hall of Fame’.
The award was presented by ESA, but nominations were proposed by companies, start-up firms, research centres, and individuals. This year’s nominees were: AirInSpace SAS, Astro- und Feinwerktechnik, ESQUAD SA Evolve Space Solutions, HTG Hyperschall Technologie Göttingen, and Symetrica Ltd.
The award ceremony took place at ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme's SpaceTransfer09 event at this year’s Hanover Fair.
For more information on the crisps-bag-filling-system, see the “Landing a potato crisp” brochure on the right.
ESA's Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO)
The main mission of the TTPO is to facilitate the use of space technology and space systems for non-space applications and to demonstrate the benefit of the European space programme to European citizens. The office is responsible for defining the overall approach and strategy for the transfer of space technologies including the incubation of start-up companies and their funding. For more information, please contact:
ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office
European Space Agency ESA
Keplerlaan 1, 2200 AG, Noordwijk ZH
Phone: +31 (0) 71 565 6208
Email: ttp @ esa.int