Two inspiring days – fully packed with concrete results – when the Space Innovation Forum took place for the 15th time in Kiruna.
– People have opened their eyes to the possibilities in Norrbotten. There is a positive force here, which we must take advantage of, so that we do not lose it, says Anna Rathsman, Director General of the Swedish National Space Agency, who opened the conference.
RIT is a regional development project to strengthen the space sector, which has been running for eight years and has now ended. The focus of the conference was to evaluate and highlight important lessons for the next step in this development.
– I have felt the power in the room. How far we have come together and we have started to identify what the next step is. It feels like persistence and clear goals in this type of development work are key. It is not solved on a coffee break, says Johanna Bergstrom-Roos, project manager for RIT via LTU Business.
Just the perseverance is something that Anna Rathsman also highlights as impressive with the project.
– RIT has shown that if you communicate a lot and make contacts, competitors can become partners. Then you can accomplish a lot, and it produces a lot of positive things. I am pleased that we have been able to support, but I am also impressed by the perseverance and the work that lies behind this. It is well done!
One of the keys is that you have managed to create a community in the space industry in the region, says Niklas Lehto, project owner at Luleå University of Technology.
– Just that these forums have been recurring every six months, so that we have started to get to know each other, has been important. So that we see what we can solve and do together. We must keep the meeting places alive!
What is the next step after the RIT project has been a major topic of discussion during the conference.
– Now we need someone to take the lead on this continued co-operation and take advantage of everything we have built up together. An organisation that feels the responsibility, is given the authority and mandate to drive it forward. You can really see how much it gives, so it’s worth making that investment. But who and how, I don’t know at the moment,” says Anna Rathsman.