Past Events:

Innovation exchange- Fuel the future

The Innovation exchange – Fuel the future is organised in the frame of the unique ESA Grand Challenge Initiative. This contest aims to create a new European ecosystem of entrepreneurs and start-up companies competing to develop solutions to some of society’s current and future challenges, be they technical, scientific or societal.

This supports ESA’s Space Exploration Strategy strengthening European excellence in scientific research knowledge through opportunities for in-situ investigations and the additional development of advanced instrumentation and relative enabling technologies for delivering benefits that impact society.

To create and capitalise on these opportunities, ESA is nurturing cross-synergies between space and terrestrial R&D, and has initiated the ESA Innovation Exchange series.

Resources matter, even those far beyond our planet.

ESA is setting up a first round of exciting sessions with experts from different fields to gather ideas on resources management on the Moon and near-Earth asteroids. The event will take place on 8 June 2017 at ESTEC, ESA’s technical heart in Europe.

This is the first step towards picking the final themes that will set the stage for the first ESA Grand Challenge. The kick-off meeting will focus on in-situ resource utilisation (ISRU), a topic that explores the challenge of exploiting lunar or asteroid reserves from very diverse standpoints.

Would you have ideas or solutions on how to collect and exploit water ice, produce energy or build a habitat in a space environment?

Split into several group discussions, participants of this Innovation Exchange will help ESA to understand which areas are most interesting to stakeholders. The challenge should result in a technology or ground-based solution that could be applied at a later stage to a real space mission. Participants and ESA experts will work together to identify the most promising ideas.

The core technology developed through the challenge should also demonstrate potential for spinoffs addressing needs on Earth and the potential to be commercialised in the future.

Do you have experience in resources exploitation on Earth, mining or business development? Or, are you interested in sponsoring new technologies?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this is your opportunity to fuel the future. Join us and contribute to the launch of the ESA Grand Challenge.

There are limited spaces available for this first Innovation Exchange on ISRU in ESTEC, the Netherlands, where most ESA projects are born and guided through their phases of development. Participants will enjoy a guided visit to the Erasmus high bay, and robotics lab.

If you are interested, please email

Find the programme here!

Workshop: Managing Obsolescence risks in space programmes

On May 16th, the European Materials & Processes Technology Board (MPTB) is holding a one-day workshop at ESTEC, ESA’s technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. Small companies, SMEs, and academia involved in hardware manufacturing for space programmes are invited to learn more about how their supply chain can be affected by obsolescence of chemicals or technologies.

Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, REACH, is a strict law controlling chemical substances. It contributes to a safer and healthier environment, but poses wide-reaching engineering challenges for the space sector which is by nature driven by performance and heritage design.

The complexity of the issue and its possible industrial impact requires European-wide coordination among space industry and agencies. This is achieved through the MPTB. This body comprises large system integrators, equipment manufacturers, expert companies, national space agencies and ESA.

This event aims to raise awareness of issues associated with REACH, offer support from the MPTB, and encourage dialogue via a round table discussion.

Participation is free of charge.

Read more and register here!