Building and powering by disruptive innovation

Building and powering by disruptive innovation [Jul/2018]

On 18 July, a Global Space Economic Workshop at ESA ECSAT in Harwell, UK, encouraged industry leaders to develop partnerships and foster disruptive innovation and commercial opportunities. It addressed diverse challenges related to advanced manufacturing and materials, including in-situ resource utilisation, both for habitat construction on the Moon or other planets, and for use in the construction of satellites, spacecraft and down-to-earth applications. Advances in battery technology and how they can benefit space exploration, and the interworking of autonomous vehicles and renewable energy, were discussed. The event, organised by ESA in cooperation with UK’s Metalysis, involved more than 70 leaders from industry, academia, European institutions and the Harwell Space and EnergyTec Clusters. Professor Bill David FRS, Senior STFC Scientist & Professor of Chemistry, University of Oxford presented 'Sustainability: an abundantly elemental challenge' and Andrew Barnes, Senior Technology Engineer at ESA talked about the ESA-RAL Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory. In the afternoon, Martina Caironi, the Italian Paralympic Golden Medal and ESA Grand Challenge Ambassador, described how the development of new materials and technology enhanced her athletic performance. Participants were split into two groups to address new materials issues and challenges, and energy. Theyalso discussed future challenges and potential cross-domain partnership opportunities. Discussions on new materials covered potential opportunities and ESA’s role in future developments. On 10 October, a Global Space Economic Forum with the theme 'Space Partnerships for Global Challenges’ will present the conclusions and outcomes of all previous Global Space Economic Workshops. The event will be held at ESA ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The aim is to pave the way for future cross-cultural partnerships encouraging institutions and industry to work together towards a common goal. If you are interested in attending the forum please contact

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