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Space Business Challenges find ideas and solutions by 40 students from Erasmus University @NL Space Campus

29 maart 2022

A group of 40 Business Administration students who are participating in the Honours programme at the Rotterdam School of Management (i.e. the top 5% of their cohort) started their two-day Space Business Challenge at the NL Space Campus in Noordwijk on Thursday March 10. Challenges were offered bij ESA, SBIC Noordwijk, DECOS and NL Space Campus. We also put forward the possiblitiy for a business internship and gave them a sneak peek into the excited Summerschool programme of 2022.  

Every year the Rotterdam School of Management Erasmus University hosts an honours programme for 40 students in their second year, called RSM BSc Honours Programme ‘Innovation & Entrepreneurship - Lessons from Silicon Valley’. Part of the programme is a two-day Space Business Challenge that takes place on the NL Space Campus in Noordwijk. Whereas previous years it took place at ESTEC, this year it took place partly in SBIC Noordwijk and the DECOS building. Challenges were put forward by ESA/ESTEC, SBIC Noordwijk, DECOS and NL Space Campus itself and students worked on real business cases. 

As NL Space Campus we also put forward the possibility for the students to do an internship and/or project with the campus and it was met with a lot of excitement. Right now we are looking for a communication intern and business intern, and of course we still have spots left for the LDE NL Space Campus Summerschool 2022. Find more about this event at www.ldenlspacecampussummerscho...

Two-day Challenge

With a welcome from Pepper the robot, and an introduction from Paul Veger, former CEO of DECOS, the business students started their day. For them, working on actual challenges from the industry, it was a lot more exciting than being in class. Having our challenges set out to the students, gave us many more creative and high-quality insights and ideas than we as ‘clients’ expected. This event was just as exciting for the challenge owners as the challenge solvers. 

The challenges were kicked off by short introductions from the challenge owners and people involved. Submitted were one or more assignments for groups of students to research and carry out a plan, during the two days they were in Noordwijk. At the end of the Challenge on Friday afternoon, they presented their findings to their client and to the rest of the group in a plenary session. The two days were ended by drinks and a lot of networking. 


What is the Space Business Challenge: Advising Space Businesses on the NL Space Campus? This challenge familiarises students with the interplay between the production of science and technology and the commercialisation of academic knowledge and designs by research centres, universities, R&D-based companies, start-up firms and established companies in clusters. At this moment, the NL Space Campus is an emerging cluster with an excellent research centre, relatively new technology transfer and incubation mechanisms, and a science & technology park in development. Teams of students are asked to give the joined space businesses, research organisations, the incubator and the NL Space Campus as a whole, strategic advice on how to make technology transfer and incubation more effective and the space sector more dynamic. For this purpose, teams of students pitch their policy recommendations to a group of experts and stakeholders.  


How and what challenges were presented

Being a business in the space sector, we already know of the possibilities, opportunities and excitement happening in the space sector. Most of the Business students never had any contact with the space sector and broadened a lot of their knowledge about businesses in the space sector, the opportunities for them and what is currently going on in the sector. In return, we as a ‘client’ received many new ideas for challenges we are currently experiencing in our organisation, or solutions to innovations that might turn into future challenges. 

 

A challenge from SBIC was for example about the Ignition programme and how to support more startups in their road to becoming successful. ESA/ESTEC offered a challenge about how they could offer more of their knowledge to other parties outside of ESTEC and DECOS set them out to research the Belgian market for their software product FIXI. The challenge put forward by NL Space Campus was about what NL Space Campus should facilitate, stimulate and/or initiate to create and strengthen a successful ecosystem in the field of data application. And are there any role models or benchmarks to learn from?

  

Offer your challenge for next year through NL Space Campus

We were impressed with their in-depth research, quality business solutions and the creativity that comes from ideas that are innovative and with a different perception than from anyone being immersed in this business for a long time. If you are a business in the space sector and you have a business idea brewing, something left on the shelf for too long and/or you are excited to meet these top-notch business students, you can contact us and offer your own challenge for the two-day Space Business Challenge in spring 2023. 


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