Collaboration Strengthens Positions in the Space Arena

Kiruna and Norrbotten will become Europe’s space center. A key player in that process is Luleå University of Technology. – We will strenghten our reputation in the international arena and be an attractive and dynamic research and education environment, says Victoria Barabash, head of the Division of Space Technology.

The vision is to build Europe’s most versatile space city, and to strengthen an independent European access to space. It is done within the framework of Space Kiruna, an organisation for the region’s space operators.

Luleå University of Technology is investing SEK 100 million on another round of the Graduate school in Space Technology, which means 20 new PhD positions. Two new chairholders are recruited, Professor Javier Martín-Torres in Atmospheric Science and professor Reza Emami in Onboard Space Systems. In addition, LTU Business has worked to strengthen the relationships between the university and the national space industry.

– We have inventoried the resources available, says Johanna Bergström-Roos, business developer at LTU Business AB at Space Campus in Kiruna.

– It has led to a commitment to establish a centre of exellence in Space Technology and to hire eight so called Innovation PhD students who will work to develop new products and services together with industry.

International imprint

Overall, the investments should lead to that the activities of the Division of Space Technology will make an impression on the international space arena.

– New research projects provides new research contacts and makes Luleå University of Technology visible. We hope thereby to get more students into our undergraduate and graduate programs and to attract investment, says Victoria Barabash and is backed by Jonas Ekman, head of the Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering.

– Luleå University is to be a leader in research and education within the areas of nanosatellite systems and Mars Exploration. When multiple players can collaborate, meet and exchange ideas, it creates a positive effect we can all benefit from, says Jonas Ekman.

Besides Luleå University of Technology, SSC, IRF, EISCAT, Spaceport Sweden, Rymdgymnasiet, Kiruna Airport, Lapplands kommunalförbund, Progressum, Kiruna Lappland, Kiruna kommun and Metria are members of Space Kiruna.