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NEWS, EVENTS & GOOD READS

Everything you need to know from the new space ecosystem

  • AutorenbildStephanie Wissmann

ESA and SPACEFOUNDERS sign memorandum of understanding: A major boost for Europe´s space ecosystem

The Salon du Bourget - the world's premier and largest event dedicated to the aviation and space industry SIAE 2023 - bore witness to an outstanding moment for the European SpaceTech industry on June 22nd, 2023. The National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) and the European Space Agency (ESA) inked a Memorandum of Understanding, marking ESA's support into the diverse and burgeoning SpaceFounders program.


This strategic alliance sends a strong signal about the increasing dialogue and proximity between leading space institutions and startups, a significant step towards a stronger and more innovative European space industry.


SpaceFounders, the joint initiative of CNES and the University of the German Armed Forces (UniBW) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) is a ground-breaking European startup acceleration initiative. It champions the growth of innovative SpaceTech startups, a mission now bolstered by partners such as the German Space Agency (DLR), Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Alenia Space, Beyond Gravity, and the newly joined ESA.

The Memorandum of Understanding signing was attended by Chief Operating Officer at CNES Lionel Suchet, Director of Commercialisation, Industry and Competitiveness at ESA Geraldine Naja and Vice President of the University of Federal Armed Forces UniBw Munich, Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Renner.


Under the Memorandum of Understanding, ESA will actively contribute to several key areas of the SpaceFounders program, such as startup selection, program content enrichment, visibility expansion across member states, event co-organisation, and investor and industrial customer network engagement. ESA's Director of Commercialisation, Industry and Competitiveness, Geraldine Naja, commented:

"SpaceFounders has emerged as the premier and leading SpaceTech accelerator in Europe. We've stood by and bolstered the program from the inception, and the timing couldn't be more perfect to finally formalize our collaboration and efforts."

Lucie Campagnolo, CEO of SpaceFounders France, echoed these sentiments: "ESA's involvement represents an exciting chapter in our journey. Their expertise and resources will significantly enrich our offerings and accelerate our startups' growth trajectories."


The Memorandum of Understanding signing was attended by notable figures, including Chief Operating Officer at CNES Lionel Suchet, Director of Commercialisation, Industry and Competitiveness at ESA Geraldine Naja and Vice President of the University of Federal Armed Forces UniBw Munich, Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Renner, as well as Lucie Campagnolo, CEO of SpaceFounders France.


Chief Operating Officer at CNES Lionel Suchet, Director of Commercialisation, Industry and Competitiveness at ESA Geraldine Naja and Vice President of the University of Federal Armed Forces UniBw Munich, Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Renner and CEO SpaceFounders France Lucie Campagnolo on stage at the Paris Air Show 2023.



Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Renner, Vice-President of the UniBw Munich, stated, "Because SpaceFounders is of prime importance for our university which generally fosters entrepreneurship and start-ups, we view this agreement as a landmark achievement. It cultivates a synergistic nexus among academia, industry, and space agencies, and will be instrumental in sparking scientific innovation and commercial viability in the European space sector which are of relevance for both the civil and the military sector."


Seven SpaceFounder alumni were also present at the Paris Air Show and pitched in front of the audience.


The next SpaceFounders batch, starting from September to December 2023, will greatly benefit from ESA's diverse initiatives. By the year-end, SpaceFounders aims to include 40 alumni, all CEOs of rapidly growing European Newspace startups, thus solidifying Europe's most engaged community in the sector.


For more information, visit the ESA website at www.esa.commercialiation.int and the SpaceFounders website at www.spacefounders.com.




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