The organizers counted around 65 participants at the first matchmaking event for aerospace, which took place last Thursday at the Digital Hub Industry (DHI) in Bremen. With this, the organizers – the Starthaus Bremen and the DHI in cooperation with ASTRA e.V. – have already achieved two of their three goals. At the first meeting of this kind, not only were local companies, associations and groups related to space travel able to present themselves. There was also a lively exchange and professional discussions.
Bremen is one of the top locations for aerospace in Europe. With more than 140 companies and 20 institutes in and around Bremen, the region is an important innovative location for space technologies. It is therefore no surprise that Bremen is also one of the few locations in Germany where young people can study space technology with a variety of specializations. This broad offering is a particular advantage of the location, but also brings with it some challenges.
So far, there are hardly any places where young scientists* from the engineering-technological field can have a professional and interdisciplinary exchange. Yet the young professionals are also looking for precisely such connections with each other and interdisciplinarily with other fields such as law, economics, logistics or biology. Because they want to combine innovation and sustainability. Having a space to develop prototype rockets, launchers, mini-satellites or other technologies themselves would be another big plus for Bremen as a location for the international community. It is precisely this kind of networked work, coupled with dedicated minds, that is urgently needed by the growing space industry.
In order to establish this link, we at ASTRA e.V. organized a matchmaking event in cooperation with the Starthaus Bremen & Bremerhaven and the Digital Hub Industry (DHI). First, the Starthaus and we introduced ourselves. This was followed by three different young start-ups from Bremen: Women in Aerospace, Astrait and Iorbit showed the whole breadth of what aerospace encompasses in their presentations. Well-known faces from industry and business also contributed. For example, guests included Holger Oelze (Managing Director of ZARM Technik AG) and Janusz Heitmann (DLR). Prof. Dr. Antonia Garcia from Bremens University of Applied Sciences emphasized the importance of such a bridge between young talent and companies or research. It was not just a matter of following lectures, but of getting to know each other in an open setting, exchanging ideas and developing ideas together.
After the stage program, there was time for discussion and lively exchange. In the process, we were able to make important contacts and find supporters. All in all, the event was a complete success with more than 60 active participants. Our conclusion is very unanimous: “This is exactly what we need. We’ll definitely repeat it.”