IRF SpaceLab – a milestone for Swedish space tech

Foto: Annelie Klint Nilsson/IRF

Space as a service: World-leading engineers, infrastructure and data from one of Sweden’s most prominent and internationally recognized bodies within space research. The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is launching IRF SpaceLab in Kiruna, Sweden.

Open labs or test environments has a direct effect on growth as it attracts new business ventures and investments, as well as talents looking for the cutting-edge of their industry.  In the global space tech marketplace, demand for infrastructure and expertise within space engineering is booming  – and mainly from the private sector.

Launching open testbeds for space innovation in Kiruna is one of the strategic aims of the RIT2021 project. Developing IRF SpaceLab at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics is a major factor to the overall success of the project and the entire space community as it will enable users from both academia and industry to utilize the research infrastructure, tools, and expertise at IRF. Within a designated work package, led by Olle Norberg, RIT2021 has supported the development of IRF SpaceLab in the commercialization process.

– IRF SpaceLab is a milestone for Sweden and its competitive position as a space nation in the future. We are deeply impressed by the hard work and determination from the project team to launch this – and in the midst of the pandemic, says Olle Norberg, Vice Rector for Space at Luleå University of Technology.

Critical business development support from RIT2021

– The Swedish Institute of Space Physics has been developing instruments for space research since the 1960s. We are thrilled to expand our offered services and open our infrastructure and expertise to external clients, says Mate Kerenyi, IRF SpaceLab project manager.

“The RIT2021 partnership has inspired many business ideas and helped to developed commercial approaches critical to SpaceLab launch” – IRF Director Stas Barabash.

IRF SpaceLab is part of a collaboration between the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Luleå University of Technology, innovation enabler LTU Business, all located at the Kiruna Space Campus. IRF SpaceLab is also participating in the Kvarken Space Eco project led by the University of Vaasa in Finland and the SmallSat Express project led by SSC.

– As an institute historically focused on space research, IRF SpaceLab is an opportunity for us to apply the expertise and competence developed in the frame of fundamental research to the society current needs. The RIT2021 partnership has inspired many business ideas and helped to developed commercial approaches critical to SpaceLab launch, says Stas Barabash, IRF Director.

Read more about IRF Space Lab here.