The Space Innovation Awards ceremony took place during the RIT project’s final conference in September, with four categories celebrating individuals or companies who have made extraordinary contributions during the eight years of the project.
– It is important for us to honour some of those who have made significant contributions and also inspired others to follow in their footsteps, says Johanna Bergström-Roos, project manager for the RIT project.
The Space Innovation Rising Star went to Sandra Vázquez Martín for her exceptional commitment and hard work. She is a shining example of someone who pursued her dreams with a clear vision and eventually achieved it.
– I am very proud of myself, I am really passionate about what I do, says Sandra Vázquez Martín.
The Space Innovation Pioneer was awarded to Moses Browne Mwakyanjala. Initially an LTU PhD student at SSC, he was the first researcher within the project to become an entrepreneur and found a space company in the region.
– This award is a strong incentive to continue to challenge, set higher goals and create a positive impact on academia and industry, says Moses Browne Mwakyanjala.
The Golden Rocket was awarded to Isar Aerospace. Their success story, from a modest start to international recognition with an office in Kiruna, is an example of the region’s appeal to space entrepreneurs.
– We are very happy to be able to contribute to the growing space industry in and around Kiruna, especially at Esrange and Swedish Space Corporation,” said Mr Rocket.
The Space Innovation Business Award went to Arctic Space Technology, which created a new space company from scratch. The founders are partly alumnies from LTU:s space programmes and they have already contracts with several international customers and have also attracted external investors to the region.
– There are many people around us who have supported us and contributed to our development. It is very much thanks to them that we have now become a significant player in the industry and have an impact on the space industry, says Sandra Nilsson CEO of Arctic Space Technology.