A record 172 stakeholders registered for this week’s Space Innovation Forum, a two-day event dedicated to presentations and discussions on how to make Norrbotten an even more attractive space region.
Space Innovation Forum is growing. The last edition held in October of 2020 attracted more interest than ever before, and this week the record was beaten again. The large attendance from project owners, project participants, funders, researchers, space experts, students and other interested parties from all of the society shows the importance of Norrbotten’s goal to become a leading space region in Sweden and a leading space cluster in the world.
– We continue the work towards making Norrbotten a global, strategic asset for the space industry by building an ecosystem that attracts more people and new investments and establishments. To collaborate and build an even greater engagement across society toward our goals is crucial to our success, says Johanna Bergström-Roos at LTU Business, project manager for RIT 2021.
The event participants got to take part of learnings from GKN Aerospace, which is one of Sweden’s largest space companies, from Harwell Space Cluster, which is the UK’s portal to space, and from the establishment of Northvolt in Skellefteå. The question of what makes the space region interesting for investors was a main focus point. In addition, LTU Business presented a study on what imprint the space industry has had in the region since the beginning in Kiruna in 1957 until today, and what potential lies in the future.
– I think only a few people realize the significance of what is now happening in the space industry. In just five to six years, the name “Kiruna” will give completely new associations. We have an incredibly exciting time ahead of us that will provide strong growth in research and development linked to space. I promise that Kiruna municipality will provide what is required to take that position, says Kiruna’s municipal councilor Gunnar Selberg.
– Through collaboration between research and industry and with the unique benefits that northern Sweden offers, we have the opportunity to create a really strong space cluster. This attracts companies and entrepreneurs to establish themselves here and will contribute to a viable business community, says Olle Norberg, Vice Principal for Space at Luleå University of Technology.
–A lot of new and exciting things are happening in the space industry and our investment in the test business is successful. Today we have two German companies that have begun tests and development of small launchers for orbital launches. We are now taking the next step and have begun the work of building a Spaceport out on Esrange for orbital launches. With all the investments in northern Sweden, it is very important that we succeed together in attracting and recruiting many engineers in the next few years in several areas of expertise, says Lennart Poromaa, President Science Services and Head of Esrange Space Center at SSC – Swedish Space Corporation.
Space Innovation Forum has attracted a total of 1,600 visitors over the years.