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#SpaceWatchME Forecast: INNOspace Weekend, September 2017, Cologne, Germany

The inaugural INNOspace weekend is set to take place from 15-17 September at Solution Space, Cologne, with a focus on viable business models at the interface between space, logistics and automotive. The two-day event provides a platform for developing innovative applications and start-up concepts in the space and mobility sector. DLR Space Administration will play the role of enabler, facilitating access to expertise and to corporate networks in the space sector and in cooperating sectors. These networks should also make it easier to establish contacts with promotional and financing options to take those ideas to the next level.

Students, young professionals and people interested in space and mobility are invited to attend to devise viable and innovative business ideas in interdisciplinary and international teams. In particular, people with no space background are welcome to come and network directly and on location with participants and mentors from the worldwide space and mobility community.

At the end of the event, an expert jury will decide which start-up ideas, products and business models have the most promising prospects. These experienced experts, managers and consultants from the sectors of space, automotive and logistics shall then award prizes for the best draft proposals. “The INNOspace Weekend brings together pioneering spirit and technical expertise with the aim of providing up and coming companies with all the tools they need to generate new start-up ideas and to develop these further after the weekend is over”, states Dr. Franziska Zeitler, head of the “Innovation & New Markets” department at DLR Space Administration.

In a series of lectures by pioneers in the field, participants learn of the opportunities and challenges facing start-ups in the space and mobility sectors. The aim is to communicate core competences as well as contacts for the development of innovative business models, or to devise concepts for personal start-ups. “With logistics and automotive, we are focusing on two of the most significant cluster sectors for the Cologne region”, continues Zeitler. “Here, with reference to space, there is a great array of exciting avenues of enquiry for new business ideas that can arise through the interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and technology”.

Time and again, the space sector has brought out trailblazing innovations that have a genuine impact on our everyday lives. To achieve this, the weekend provides participants with a systematic focus on innovation, to identify problems associated with all three industries and to transform these insights into sustainable business ideas.

New business models and start-up concepts in just 60 hours

The participants at the INNOspace Weekend benefit from a large number of resources: Mentors, speakers and experts provide support with their extensive sector knowledge and a vast amount of expertise. In addition, participants have access to 3D printers, Arduino and sensor technology, Meccano Sets, a web designer and a graphics specialist.

With the help of this equipment, the young pioneers can concentrate on developing the content of their business ideas and their prototypes. In this way, with creativity and commitment, they can successfully venture onto new ground, and within the space of just 60 hours, can generate a start-up from a simple problem proposition. After this event, the finalists also have an opportunity to present their concepts and business ideas to cooperating companies with the aim of finding supporters or partners for the next stage of development.

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