Setting the stage

Setting the stage [Jun/2017]

Building a future on another celestial body requires bold ideas. Experts from a variety of fields will be digging into the surface of resources management topics in the latest ESA’s Grand Challenge initiative – the ‘Innovation exchange – Fuel the future’ event. 

On 8 June, there will be much talk on the challenges of identifying, extracting and delivering valuable resources on the Moon and near-Earth asteroids.

In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) involves the extraction and processing of local resources into useful products and services. The challenge could break human beings’ reliance on Earth supplies and promote commercial adventures from both space and non-space sectors.

ESA and space experts will exchange views to understand which challenges terrestrial industries dealing with resource management on Earth are facing every day.

To fuel the future, four main topics are on the table:

  • Resources. Do you have experience in resources exploitation on Earth? Building and operating infrastructures on celestial bodies.
  • Hardware. Are you interested in sponsoring new technologies? Manufacturing tools, spare parts and utensils to support the crew.
  • Materials Processing. What do you know about efficiently processing metals, oxides and other solids?Promising technologies to manufacture metallic and ceramic structures from mineral resources.
  • Energy. What are the challenges of producing energy in extreme environments? Energy demands and storage issues, available sources and requirements to bring equipment from Earth.

Follow the Innovation Exchange - Fuel the Future via live webstream from ESA’s ESTEC establishment in the Netherlands on Thursday 8 June starting at 9:15 CEST.


The Innovation Exchange format encourages the convergence of different industrial cultures. The space and non-space communities are invited to come together and describe the challenges they would like to solve in the coming years.

The ESA Grand Challenge offers the opportunity to the non-space industries to access a large community of problem solvers that goes well beyond the traditional R&D approach. These exchanges foster the development of a fertile industrial ecosystem of innovation.

Together with experts and the partners of this innovation exchange (EIT RawMaterials, Singularity University and NEREUS), ESA will assess which areas are solid ground for new space technologies and commercial spin-offs addressing needs on Earth.

Last places are available, so get on board. Learn more about the programme and register now at

More detailed information is given in the programme of the event and the flyer.

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