Dear Space Friends,
Time passes and in February we will already be half way through the RIT project. This is of course according to the plan but to see it in writing gives me the reason the stop for a while and reflect about what we have achieved so far. The signals I get from the project partners in different ways, testifies that we are well on track and that we are doing things right. This also goes for the feedback we get from Oxford Research, who are in charge of the “ongoing evaluation” of the project. I met them recently and we talked about keeping up the speed and direction towards the purpose and goal of RIT. It is good to have them onboard.
The PhD students are all working purposefully side by side with the space companies. It is also very gratifying that several new R&D projects have started in parallel and some of them involve regional SMEs as well. This is exactly what we are aiming for and we will continue our efforts to strengthen this kind of collaboration further. If and when new business ideas occur, we have a first version of an innovation support system in place including verification processes for both early and more mature phases.
Another gratifying news is that Space Research at LTU has got a most prestigious and significant economic contribution through the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten and the Kempe Foundations. They are, together with LTU, jointly investing around 100 million SEK to strengthen the recruitment of young and talented graduate students and researchers to the university. Professor Reza Emami will broaden his science group to include field studies systems and missions designed and developed for accessing and manipulating asteroids for science and engineering explorations as well as extracting and utilizing their resources. Professor Javier Martin Torres will strengthen his team within science on Mars and Exoplanets. This contribution is a natural step towards a Centre of Excellence within the Space Sector at LTU. Read more about this below.
Our common meeting point within RIT, “Space Innovation Forums”, have been well represented by the project partners so far. Both evaluation forms show that they are appreciated and useful to most of the project partners or invited external stakeholders. The next “SIF” is planned for May 10-11, lunch to lunch as usual. This event is following directly on “Rymdforum 2017” so we are looking forward to an interesting space week in Kiruna. More information about “SIF 4” will be sent out in the beginning of next year.
The results from “Space Innovation Forum 3” is found on Trello – our platform for innovation sharing. At least one of the ideas has been taken care of and is right now being developed further by the group who came up with the idea. Trello is continuously updated with new information, be it workshops results, trends, needs, or companies in the region. If you are interested in the different ideas or actors that has been identified we can help you to get further information if needed. Just contact [email protected].
The work to initiate an innovation support system for the space business is advancing and right now the focus is on interviewing space companies and other stakeholders in the space industry regarding their internal innovation management. This information will provide us with facts for a more in depth analysis of existing innovation capabilities and also give us an idea if any certain competence is missing. This will enlighten us regarding the potential Centre of Excellence and what it should offer to its members other than excellence/competence and interesting collaborative R&D projects. The interviews are first and foremost aimed at persons in leading positions, such as project leaders and R&D engineers. We also invite those of you who have a special interest in innovation management to contact us for further discussions. This goes for other questions as well connected to regional growth and the RIT project.
Finally I would like to thank you all for all the good work and your personal engagement in different activities within the RIT project. It is a great pleasure to be part of this enthusiastic space team!
My best Season Greetings to you All!
Project Manager RIT