How can we use technology developed for space to develop smart cities here on earth?

April 5, 2018News

How can we bring space technology to Swedish industry and create new innovations? How can Ideon companies benefit from new solutions developed for space? That was the theme for our latest Innovation Square, this time with Per Persson, Director of the Department of Innovation & Economic Development at Lund Municipality.

The minimalist principles of designing technology for space is something that Per Persson wants to make use of when developing smart cities here on earth. It can be to use smart materials for insulations that are very thin, but still insulating enough to work during cold winters, how to use residual head from buildings or how to create circular systems for water and waste.

“We want to make use of space technology when we are planning solutions for smart cities here on earth”, said Per. “One goal is to help companies Lund to become suppliers to ESA and NASA”, he said. “Lund is unique with ESS, MAX IV and the Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics at Lund University, which is one of the leading departments in the world in their field. And ESA has seen that”, he continued. That was one of the reasons that ESA placed their Space Impact workshop in Lund last year. (See a clip about the event below)

Plans to create Space Node South and a Space Incubator in Lund

“We have space nodes in the North, East and West of Sweden and we want to create Space Node South here in Lund. We also want to create a space incubator and it could be placed at Ideon, as there is a working innovation support system here”, Per explained.

As the innovation square is a platform for discussions and not just a seminar, there were a lot of questions, suggestions and input from the audience. One question was regarding the competences needed to create a space node in Lund, at which Per replied that all fields of knowledge will be needed, not just engineers and programmers. One suggestion from the audience was to promote innovations that promote a better health for the astronauts, such as intelligent indoor lighting and living plant walls, something that Ideon companies could supply to ESA and NASA.

Lund is a hotspot for entrepreneurship

In March 2017, ESA held their Space Impact Workshop in Lund together with Lund Municipality and Umbilical design. One of the innovation workshops was organized by FutureByLund and they asked the Frank M. Saizgeber from ESA on why they placed the conference in Lund:

“We always go to hotspots in Europe and when we were looking for hotspots for entrepreneurship we found Barcelona, Berlin and Lund. I think Lund is a fantastic case where you bring research, education and also the essence of entrepreneurship together. I have seen only a few locations and few universities that have made that connection as excellent as Lund” he said.

“We are recycling innovations. Innovations means not to create new technology but to reapply it and bring it to the market. At the moment we support around 140 new startups at ESA”, he continues. You can see more from the workshop here:

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