ESA welcomed a record 1700 visitors from 800 companies and institutions to its Industry Space Days event on 28–29 September at ESTEC, its technical centre in The Netherlands. It is a place where industry can meet and share their ideas for new emerging uses of space and commercial potential.
Commercialisation of space is one of the top priorities in ESA’s strategy, described in Agenda 2025. Speaking to a packed hall, ESA’s Director General, Josef Aschbacher, opened the event highlighting the vibrant and booming global space economy and his intention to strengthen European industry through the next Council Meeting at Ministerial Level (CM22) in November.
More presentations followed, ESA directors shared information on ESA activities, the future of space and opportunities to do business with ESA. Seminars and panel discussions discussed space and further explained the ways ESA and investors can help European space companies of all sizes, be successful in the space market.
Organised by ESA’s SME Office, this biennial event acts as a catalyst for new partnerships within Europe’s space industry. Many of the visitors are regular participants, seeing it as a valuable way to hear first-hand from ESA about important elements of current and future programmes. Equally, it is an opportunity to meet up with friends and collaborators in the space community, mingle, exchange ideas, and meet potential partners to negotiate new business.
In an exhibition hall with 150 booths, ESA, industry and organisations showcased their products, technologies and services. An ESA ‘BIC village’/start-up zone hosted 24 start-up companies from ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) around Europe.
The SME Office was also available to help companies register to do business with ESA as well as register their details on esa-match – an ESA online tool that helps companies work together by sharing their areas of expertise for possible partnership opportunities.
During 5400 prebooked meetings, companies could discuss possibilities to collaborate, sell or buy products.
This year’s record attendance highlighted the importance of this event to the space community to facilitate collaboration and build networks.
Commenting afterwards, Josef said, “It was thrilling to see the enthusiasm and passion for space at this event. The ISD was a chance to offer industry an insight and better understanding of the needs and opportunities coming up in the European space economy. Now is the time for smart, growth-oriented investment to tap into a wealth of opportunity for the European space industry which will further strengthen Europe’s space economy.”