Space is not only scientifically and politically motivated. It calls for more private sector involvement and new business models. As such, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) is working on an initiative to promote innovation, technology transfer and new markets.

The INNOspace initiative, launched by DLR Space Management in 2013, aims to provide incentives for innovation and transfers of space technologies to other non-space sectors through new methodological approaches. These incentives are intended to open up new markets, adding economic added value in downstream application. Through the initiative, DLR promotes innovation in the space sector, among others, by showcasing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Germany. In addition, it creates new communication platforms and interfaces between space and non-space sectors, increasing visibility of the space sector, with the view of what can be applied in other industries.

In turn, the INNOspace initiative supports the German Federal Government’s 2010 space strategy (German) which stated “Space projects are measured by the contribution they make to the solution of global societal challenges and by the expected long-term use of high resources.”

The activities of the INNOspace initiative are therefore carried out in close coordination with the Federal Government, in particular the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), together with various federal states.

One such activity, now in its second year, is the INNOspace Masters competition. In the context of the New Space Economy and Industry 4.0, the competition brings together ideas and innovations from companies/SMEs, universities, research institutes and start-ups. The INNOspace Masters is organised by the Application Center GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), which also hosts the Copernicus Masters and ESNC.

This year, at Design & Data GmbH, we are working with DLR on the first INNOspace Weekend. In contrast with the INNOspace Masters, the INNOspace Weekend focuses on the creation of new startups – the first event of its kind in Europe. The format of the event takes its influences from Startup Weekend and integrates design thinking and other processes that enable creative innovation.

We invite all aspiring entrepreneurs to join us from 15-17 September for an extended weekend in Cologne, where they will create a startup in just 60 hours! For further information and registration visit: http://innospace-weekend.de

New space is becoming a reality in Europe and we want you to be part of it!