Future by Lund is aiming for space

Caroline Wendt
December 11, 2020

During 2020, space has moved closer to Lund. As part of the Future by Lund collaboration, Space Hub Lund has held several summits that have generated high interest. Both the Swedish National Space Agency and ESA have participated together with companies, entrepreneurs, knowledge carriers, and innovation systems in Lund. There are now hopes that a space incubator and a Space Lab can be established in the city.

A few years ago, Lund and space were considered a surprising blend to many. It started with the Lund Grand Prix 2015 where Cecilia Hertz from Umbilical Design presented how we can use space technology on earth and vice versa. Two years later, in May 2017, all space ESA brokers, and the Swedish National Space Agency attended a conference in Lund, which demonstrated the potential that exists in Lund, including through MAX IV and ESS. This resulted in more contacts with ESA and the Swedish National Space Agency. In November 2019, Space Hub Lund launched with an event with eighty participants, including experts from both ESA and the Swedish National Space Agency.

During 2020, the idea has been further developed.

– We need to think about how space technology can create new business – however, we can also, by using a mindset from space, receive help to find solutions that reduce the use of fossil fuels, and that can achieve climate neutrality, says Anders Bengtsson, project manager at Space Hub Lund.

The first event was held in February with a large number of participants that gathered at Ideon Science Park to continue discussing insights in the field of space technology. Several interesting initiatives were listed within four themes: Materials, Technology, Circular Models and Space Data.

In April, the space collaboration continued with a digital meeting at Stenkrossen. It became clear that Lund has great resources and knowledge in the area. The meeting also demonstrated potential opportunities for companies to affiliate with the space industry and the different pathways to get support for various initiatives.

In early June, the spring's last Space Hub Lund webinar was broadcast from Vattenhallen Science Center. Anna Rathsman, Director General at the Swedish National Space Agency, was connected via a link and talked about the importance of linking space research with research conducted on Earth to increase the understanding of happenings on Earth, and learn what needs to be done.

During the first Space Hub meeting in 2019, Christophe Lasseur, who leads ESA's MELiSSA Project, presented how to work with circular systems. This continued when Christian Wilke, architect at the Brunnshög’s project, introduced a concept with the aim of creating a better environment for children through a circular preschool.

What happens now?

In Sweden, there are already three ESA incubators, and in the application for the next period, an ESA-BIC is included for Lund, which, if granted, will be placed at Ideon Innovation. In addition to this, talks are underway about the establishment in Lund of an ESA Lab, perhaps with a focus on materials research, much thanks to the possibilities at MAX IV and ESS. In 2021 we will know whether our ambitions will be met.

Translation: Ben Dohrmann


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