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Space Resources Week 2023

The fifth edition of Space Resources Week took place between 19 and 21 April 2023, as a 3-day hybrid conference connecting thought leaders from space agencies, research institutes, start-ups, and industry (both terrestrial and space).

The event was organised by the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) together with the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), European Space Agency (ESA), and the Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology (LIST). More than 70 speakers from key institutions took to the stage, in front of an audience of more than 1.250 people (450 on-site and 800 online). Amongst the speakers were Franz Fayot, Luxembourg Minister of the Economy and German Astronaut and Materials Scientist, Matthias Maurer, as well as key representatives from ESA, NASA and KIGAM.

With only two years since the creation of ESRIC, we are happy to see the community growing and contributing to a strong, international space resources ecosystem.” says Kathryn Hadler, Director of ESRIC.

The multidisciplinary community attending the Space Resources Week 2023 was able to see some of the latest technologies displayed, such as the 1:1 scale of the lander developed in the ESA Argonaut project.

The audience had the opportunity to discover the work of partner organisations, companies and agencies, such as OffWorld, Polimak, DoraHacks, Ispace, the UK Space Agency, Robominers, EURO2MOON and the University of Luxembourg’s SNT department, as well as an art exhibition courtesy to the Moon Gallery Foundation.

Collaboration with KIGAM

Building on the partnerships fostered during Luxembourg’s economic mission to Korea (end of 2022), a Memorandum of Understanding was signed during the conference with the Korea Institute of Geo-science and Mineral Resources (KIGAM).

We are delighted to see this partnership between Luxembourg and Korea being taken to the next level and establish a stronger collaboration between the two national institutes.” says Luxembourg Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot.

ESA-ESRIC Space Resources Challenge

Following the success of the first Space Resources Challenge held in the Netherlands and in Luxembourg between November 2021 and September 2022, the five finalist teams presented their lessons learnt on the first day of the event.

The winners of the €200.000 development contract with ESA, and €300.000 contract with ESRIC allocated in the framework of the competition, a consortium between FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik and Team Glimpse which was led by ETH Zürich and the University of Zurich have also been announced at this occasion.  

“ESA is committed to drive innovation in lunar resource extraction and the ESA-ESRIC Space Resources Challenge is one of the initiatives that aims to generate new ideas and technologies from the community.” says Melchiorre Conti, Space Resources Engineer ESA

Commercialization activities

During the second day of the conference, as part of the commercialization session, a wide range of international start-ups and ventures shared their experience. Amongst them, the five early-stage ventures that are currently being pre-incubated in the ESRIC Start-up Support Programme, the first world-wide programme entirely dedicated to space resources.

“With this annual event, ESRIC is contributing to the market consolidation of space resources, with new ventures shaping the future of commercial activities, aiming to make the Lunar Economy a reality”, states Lari Cujko, ESRIC Start-up Support Programme Lead.