Space technology is an interdisciplinary field that covers a vast range of topics including electrical, mechanical, software, communications and optical engineering, material science, physics and chemistry, robotics and automation, signal processing, project management, marketing and policy analysis, in addition to specific fields such as space engineering, space systems and mission design, orbital mechanics and space science. According to the Space Foundation’s 2015 report, the global space sector is worth approximately 300 billion euros and rapidly increasing. As the sector expands and diversifies, there are ever greater opportunities for emerging space enterprises within the so called NewSpace movement, which attracts large amounts of private capital for developing novel technologies and applications of space utilisation.
There is a potential of making space technology a viable and important part of the economies in both countries. A key way of achieving this is by establishing stronger cross-border linkages between institutions. Doing so will enable more efficient use of the limited resources available in the region and will increase the likelihood that engineers are able to identify partners whom they can collaborate with (which in turn can reduce ‘braindrain’ from the region). Doing so will also increase the ability of institutions and SMEs in the region to contribute to ESA space missions – which will further raise the profile and reputation of the EstLat region in this field. In so doing, we believe that we can help to create a virtuous cycle in which firms and engineers will see collaboration with their counterparts on the other side of the border as a key ingredient for business success.
To capitalize on these ideas, the project seeks to increase entrepreneurial cross‐border cooperation in the space technology sector by:
- Linking together 275 potential Estonian and Latvian entrepreneurs through trainings, workshops and events to facilitate the establishment of new businesses and initiatives in space technology, including at least 5 new enterprises with both Estonian and Latvian staff;
- Bringing together 75 Latvian and Estonian STEM students and young entrepreneurs from the EstLat region to increase entrepreneurial capabilities as well as their marketability to space tech firms;
- Increasing the ability of Estonian and Latvian research institutes and companies to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities by developing new projects such as through ESA contracts – including at least 5 applications with the involvement of both Estonian and Latvian enterprises.
To achieve these results, SpaceTEM will:
- Organize 75 internships for young entrepreneurs with 11 of the leading space tech companies in the region identified so far and seeking to involve 15 more during the project execution;
- Run 31 separate events including trainings, workshops, hackathons, and conferences that will reach over 500 people in the region, including students, engineers, researchers, policy-makers, entrepreneurs and investors;
- Analyse the public policy and institutions in both countries to identify ways in which space technology policy can be harmonized to best support the development of space tech entrepreneurs in the region;
- Engage in active dissemination efforts to raise awareness about the potential of the space technology sector and the work of our project.
Author of the photo: Karl Erik Piiriisik