Focus on product development and innovation processes on Space Innovation Forum 4

Innovate or die, that was the message from Peter Sandberg, keynote speaker and Head of Innovation Strategy at RISE during Space Innovation Forum 4. The forum focused on the need of strong innovation processes in the space industry in order to get ahead of the competition.

The keynote speaker Peter Sandberg, Head of Innovation Strategy at RISE, spoke of the importance of working with innovation in all areas of your company – not just your product offerings – and proceeded to talk about the current megatrends that are shaping the world.

– Necessity is the mother of all innovation. Ask yourself if the rate of change in here is slower than it is in the rest of the industry, if that is the case you might be closer to the end than you think, said Peter Sandberg.

Kristoffer Ödmark, CEO of Widefind, told his journey of taking a research idea and starting a new company in the 3D localisation market with other researchers at Luleå University of Technology.

– We have been a startup in the space industry for five months, and we are learning a lot. Right now, we are trying to understand our customers’ needs and focus on how we can fix their problems, because the customer will always buy the solution that fits them best and we want to deliver that solution, said Kristoffer Ödmark, CEO of Widefind.

Workshop with focus on innovation processes

The innovation workshop started with four companies – GKN Aerospace, OHB Sweden, Omnisys, and SSC – presenting in detail how they work with innovation and product development.

– Is there a great process for creating ideas? I don’t know, but I was hoping of finding that out today. The Space Innovation Forum is a great place where people from different backgrounds get together and discuss. The industry is very strict with processes, budgets and deadlines; this is where I think academia can help us invent new methods that we can implement in our processes, said Staffan Brodin, Engineer in Charge at GKN Aerospace.

– At OHB Sweden, we see industry-academia cooperation as a very important part of keeping our company vital and at the leading edge. The RIT project is also very important for us since we are a smaller company without a substantial R&D budget, said Per Bodin, Head of the AOCS Department at OHB Sweden.

During day two the workshop was led by Professor Anna Öhrwall Rönnbäck and Assistant Professor Peter Törlind. Participants worked with case studies of actual space projects to see if they could find similarities between them.

– I would like to make a point that one should innovate to create value, not money, and to start a company with a vision of giving value for humans, for earth, or something else, and in the long run it will generate money for you. But money is not why we should innovate, said Reza Emami, Professor in Onboard Space Systems.