ESA’s ISS Commercial Agent Network partners ISS Lab Ruhr GmbH and EMBLEM Technology Transfer GmbH successfully presented at the BioTechnica 2005 trade fair in Hannover, Germany research opportunities available in weightlessness conditions, for example on board the International Space Station (ISS), for industrial and commercial purposes.
The visibility of the International Space Station and its research opportunities was increased by the lecture “The ISS meets BioTechnica – New Opportunities for Biotech Companies”. Held by the Commercial Agent during the Innovations Forum which comprised various events like forums, discussion panels and workshops and attracted about 1,300 auditors and participants in total.
“BioTechnica – the international trade fair for biotechnology – has evolved to become the largest industry event in Europe” says Dr. Massow, managing director of ISS Lab Ruhr GmbH. “It has been very fruitful to further establish the possibilities space offers for companies in the biotech sector using the highly positive atmosphere for networking at BioTechnica. The discussions held during the fair focused mainly on tissue engineering with regard to bone and cartilage and on state-of-the-art methods for diagnostics."
"With regard to the long-term character of biotechnological research and product cycles it is of major importance to create an environment of trust in order to start fruitful cooperation with companies. Our contacts made during BioTechnica – not only to companies but also to mediators and industrial organisations of this economic sector – have been an important step along this way.”
Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary, highly innovative sector that will largely shape our future lives. A forward-looking scientific discipline, biotechnology has the potential to improve our health, efficiently fight widespread diseases and delve ever deeper into understanding life at a molecular level.
“Biotechnology has rapidly become an important international market with great potential - a good reason for companies to cooperate with the European Space Agency: ESA offers commercial access to the ISS’s research facilities to the biotechnology industry”, says Frank Salzgeber, Head of ESA’s ISS Commercial Promotion Office.
“The European Space Agency has vast expertise in biotechnology, as it provides access for research on board the ISS – a unique, outer space research laboratory, which not only features a vast array of state-of-the-art research facilities in several biotechnological disciplines, but also offers one factor that no laboratory on Earth can offer: weightlessness. Gravity influences the basic processes of life based on its ever-present influence during the creation of life and its evolution over the past 3.5 billion years. By 'switching off' gravity it is possible to investigate changed cell activity and function and to increase our understanding of the processes in cell physiology. ESA’s biotech research success stories cover fields as varied as osteoporosis research, tissue and cell engineering, and crystallisation processes.”