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Space Café Austria by Sabine Pongruber – with Margit Mischkulnig, BMK

In the latest “Space Café Austria”, Hosted by Sabine Pongruber, CEO of WEME Global, welcomed Margit Mischkulnig on 8th September 2023

Austria’s Footprint in Space

Margit Mischkulnig, Austria’s foremost figure in space affairs, heads the Space Department at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology (BMK). She brings expertise in economics and industrial policy to the dynamic world of politics. In the fast-paced arena of politics, brevity is key, and Margit’s approach, “get to the point,” is well-suited for the Department for Space Affairs.

Austria’s Space Strategy

Margit and her team have crafted Austria’s space strategy around three core principles: People, Climate, and Economy, with a strong focus on Earth Observation. Austria’s role as the European Space Agency (ESA) Demonstrator for Earth Observation Data, supporting the green transition, is a testament to their commitment. For example, it allows Austrians to assess the potential for photovoltaic installations on their roofs. However, it relies on continuous user interaction and data input, just like any exchange platform, including the Green Transition Information Factory (GTIF).

Collaboration Drives Success

In Austria’s space industry, collaboration is key. Previous Hackathons in the energy sector brought together local industry leaders, start-ups, and established space companies. This collaboration benefits both sides, allowing start-ups to showcase their capabilities and generating revenue for newly formed companies. Ongoing collaborations continue to flourish.

Government Support

Austria provides a supportive landscape for space companies. Entities like the Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) offer funding and support. Additionally, three ESA Business Incubators in Austria not only provide financial assistance but also offer coaching and training to emerging space companies.

International Influence

Austria holds international significance in the space arena, serving as the UN Outer Space Hub and hosting the European Space Policy Institute in Vienna, advocating for peaceful and sustainable use of outer space.

In summary, Austria’s space endeavours, focus on Earth Observation, collaboration, government support, and international influence. With a clear strategy and a commitment to sustainability, Austria’s space sector continues to thrive and innovate.


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