Pitches, networking and new experiences at Network & Drinks XL 2023

One week after the festive opening of the Martin Schröder plein as the new campus meeting spot, The Space Week ’23 kicked off with a full programme including NL Space Campus Network & Drinks XL edition. Over 300 guests had the opportunity to capture memories in the HE Space photo booth, enjoy music from the ESA ESTEC DJ and sample delicious food. SpaceNed provided the drinks and 20 pitches were held at this event, next to the first award ceremony for the Space Lady of the Year af. Networking with fellow space enthusiasts ended a great evening.

We especially want to thank the pitchers for breaking through their nerves to be on stage, SpaceNed for offering the drinks for this evening, Space Expo for being the host, and everyone who went through storm and traffic to join us for the largest networking event of the year on campus.

(Below you’ll find all the photos of the evening)

Aftermovie The Space Week ’23, including Network & Drinks XL

Young and old, national and international: from summer school students and students from Delft, Leiden, and Rotterdam to space entrepreneurs and established space organisations. It was an incredibly mixed group of people. The evening was hosted by Maaike Smelter (NL Space Campus Community Manager) and Judy Lijdsman (actress working in theatre and film and space enthusiast). But first LENS R&D offered their sun sensor to Barbara Hoppel from Space Expo, as a thank-you for all their support and by presenting it to Space Expo it is now offered to the public.

100 Astronauts work with 100 student teams 

As usual for Network & Drinks there were 3-minute pitches. Kicked off with MOONSHOTS ’24 by Ian van den Broek, the programme matches 100 astronauts with 100 student teams (MBO, HBO & WO) in 2024. They are looking for your fresh ideas, bizarre lifehacks and space inventions from unexpected quarters. Your (and your team’s) wildest ideas to move the world forward. Sign up for NL MOONSHOTS ’24 and JOIN André Kuipers and 100 other astronauts on this journey of a lifetime.

Arceon: Redefining the Use of Advanced Ceramic Matrix Composites in Space

The successful startup Arceon was presented by Rahul Shirke. Arceon develops advanced ceramic matrix composites (ArCMC) which can withstand temperatures above 1000 degrees Celsius and have near zero coefficient of thermal expansion. They want to change the way composites are being used and expand their use.

Da Vinci Satellite: Putting Education into Orbit Around the Earth

Closing was Da Vinci Satellite. The team intends to put a satellite in orbit around the Earth for educative purposes. An accompanying educational programme will offer primary and secondary school students in the Netherlands the opportunity to come interact with space travel. With the launch and design financed, they are now gathering funds for these educational modules. Already the first module has been sponsored by a professor, offering a first primary school classroom the opportunity to enjoy this education programme, where they will learn about experimenting and gravitational science in space.

Sensorial (In)verse Installation: Exploring the Orion Constellation through ESA’s Gaia Mission Data

During the evening, visitors had the unique opportunity to explore the Sensorial (In)verse Installation, created by Master students Media Technology at the University of Leiden Rick Heemskerk and Pragya Jain. A multi-sensory installation about the Orion Constellation, that transforms the data derived from the European Space Agency’s Gaia Mission into an interactive and immersive experience. It was the first time this installation was open to the public and could be experienced in the perfect setting of the Arianezaal. If you are interested in knowing more about this project or booking the installation for your event, you can contact the students through Linkedin.

As always, we provided everyone with the chance to spontaneously pitch their ideas, and we were pleased to see that the registration board quickly filled up with all 17 spots! We witnessed a burst of creativity and passion as participants shared their ideas and innovations in 40-second pitches.

Moreover, we celebrated the achievements of women in space: we were honoured to host the very first Space Lady of the Year Award, organised by the Space Ladies Night Out (SLNO) community to recognise and acknowledge women for their remarkable contributions in space. The lifetime achievement award was presented to Jennifer Hordijk and the Lady of the year award went to Laura Gibson – Ten Bloemendal!

We are incredibly thankful to all partners involved, and most of all thankful for the great mixture of people, the positive energy and enthusiastic reactions!

Got excited? NL Space Campus Network & Drinks happen every last Thursday of the month, so block your agenda! You can already register for the upcoming edition on 30 November here.

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