Europe’s space community came together through two days of virtual presentations and business-to-business meetings during ESA’s online Industry Space Days on 16–17 September.
A record 1900 participants registered for the event. Companies, including hundreds of small and medium-sized enterprises, from ESA Member States, Cooperating States and Associate States networked via an online platform in thousands of prescheduled meetings over both days.
The Industry Space Days (ISD), organised by ESA’s SME Office, normally take place at ESA’s Technical Centre in Noordwijk in the Netherlands. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESA moved it online for the first time since its inception in 1999.
“Holding this event online has not deterred the enthusiasm and drive of our space-based community,” commented Eric Morel de Westgaver, ESA Director of Industry, Procurement and Legal Services.
“Establishing business partnerships and working together to strengthen Europe’s space economy through common goals, is at the core of this event.”
ESA’s Director General, Jan Wörner opened ISD 2020 followed by presentations on business opportunities on ESA’s wide variety of space programmes and activities. Industry leaders and associations also contributed in round-table discussions and presentations. Listeners could send in questions, which were answered by presenters.
The second day included additional ESA presentations and a one-hour workshop on additive and advanced manufacturing given by ESA’s directorate of Technology and Engineering.
Participants in the EIB Advisory Space Finance Lab discussed how the COVID-19 crisis has affected the space industry and what could be done to improve the conditions for European space companies.
ESA hopes to host its next Industry Space Days on site at its European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands on 8–9 September 2021.
All ISD 2020 presentations are available here.
The programme of the virtual ISD 2020 is available here.