ESA Opens Ideas Factory to Boost Space Innovation in Austria

The European Space Agency (ESA) has opened a centre to innovate the design and manufacture of space hardware in Vienna. Driving commercialization in space, it is the first of its kind of ESA-backed disruptive innovation centres outside ESA’s premises.

Work at the center will focus on accelerating the development of manufacturing for space, including the rapid prototyping of new materials, and propulsion systems and making spacecraft and satellites.

Austrian companies will be able to join the Austrian ‘Phi-Lab’, along with European partners that can demonstrate that they are bringing value to Austria, as well as universities, institutes and research centres.

Accent, a high-tech incubator for Lower Austria, will manage the lab in collaboration with Brimatech, a Vienna-based market research and consulting company, and tecnet-tt, a technology transfer organisation. Consultants Enspace and Vienna Airport, which is providing office space, will also be joining them,

ESA will consequently work closely with Phi-Lab Austria to establish the operations of the center, select the first projects and link those projects with relevant ESA expertise. The call for ideas will open soon, and the selection of the first successful applications for seed funding will take place in June.

Other ESA-backed ‘Phi-Labs’ are expected to open soon across Europe, to foster the exchange of ideas, resources, and knowledge to develop sustainable commercial concepts through rapid iterative research

Speaking on the opening of the center, Josef Aschbacher, Director General of ESA, said: “With the opening of Phi-Lab Austria, we will expand this concept to all areas of space, bringing together key players with different areas of expertise, backgrounds and communities. ESA wishes this new space innovation centre in Austria lots of success, drive and creative inspiration.”

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