Science for Society

Space Hub Lund continues to grow

Caroline Wendt
February 14, 2020

In November 2019 Space Hub Lund was formed and in February a large share of participants gathered to continue with “Learnings and Insights” in the space field. Several interesting initiatives were listed in the four areas of Material, Technology, Circular Models and Space Data. Some of the ideas discussed in relation to the initiatives were a circular preschool, clarifying what space data is available to set in motion more innovations, and to learn how to contact the ESA to take advantage of their material knowledge in specific areas.

Last autumn Space Hub Lund was launched and this February the work picked up with a half-day workshop in order to progress the initiatives further towards the next meeting in April. The participants had thirteen initiatives to work with. Some were merged and others were added, and by the end of the workshop, several concrete routes had been mapped out and assignments distributed to those interested.

The area of circular systems was led by Anders Bengtsson from Future by Lund. The group sought to both define what a circular model is and to find a way to create a circular system. The participants concluded that it would be instructive to make their own circular system – perhaps in a rental apartment building or a preschool. It would offer many gains – the participants in the project would learn what a circular system is, what can be accomplished with it and what they could contribute themselves. For example, choosing a preschool would mean that experience gained from the small-scale kitchen could be used to scale up the work into a larger kitchen. At the same time, the tangible work could also be a way towards a new financial model with new principles, new values, new costs but may also result in new laws and rules and a new way of thought and behaviour.

Anders Trana och Lars Mattiasson, Future by Lund, with Magnus Nilsson of Alfa Laval.

The material area is a sizeable field that the European Space Agency (ESA) has already worked extensively with. This provides opportunities for companies outside the space industry too, and Magnus Nilsson of Alfa Laval and Lars Mattiasson of Future by Lund discussed how to find materials that can be used so that Alfa Laval can take further steps towards optimising energy for their plate-based heat exchangers. Alfa Laval is looking for light-weight materials that have good thermal conductivity and very high strength for use in pressure vessels. This is a very specific area – but the participants expect that working with this at the same time could give them knowledge about how to get in touch with ESA’s research on materials and to develop a collaborative partnership with the space industry. The workshop resulted in an action plan, which amongst other items included further contact with Thomas Rohr, Head of Materials and Process Section at ESA. Thomas participated in Space Hub Lund last autumn.

The participants working with space data had come a long way already during the previous workshop and this time the group was led by Johan Lindén, this day representing AI Innovation of Sweden. The work builds on what has been achieved by both AI Innovation of Sweden and the project National Space Data Lab. It is hoped that AI Innovation of Sweden will establish a node in southern Sweden as well. The group felt that it would be an advantage to know what space data is available. One view raised was that data events, hackathons and workshops are needed to publicise data and standards as well as to connect and understand what needs and opportunities exist. The work needs to adopt both bottom-up and top-down perspectives to clarify what needs to be done but also to understand the technology. In this field it is important to work with education at many different levels. This can be anything from university programs to shorter and more focused courses.

The technology group was led by Björn Lovén from the Swedish National Space Agency (Svenska Rymdstyrelsen) and the discussions covered the ways to use Max IV and ESS in space technology and how to put together an initiative where these are more involved. Another part of the discussion involved a concrete example of a business concept from university that requires funding to test its product, but also help to find a business partner. There is an ESA Business Incubator Center (BIC) in the north of Sweden, and the participants were very hopeful that a similar incubator could be located in southern Sweden.

Space Hub Lund continues with workshops on the 16th of April and 4th of June.

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