State Secretary of Defence Christophe van der Maat Visits NL Space Campus

Christophe van der Maat, State Secretary of Defence, recently made a working visit to NL Space Campus. The visit, which took place on 25 January, involved a series of activities to explore the region’s space innovation ecosystem and the connection to Defence.

The visit began at ESTEC, where Mr. van der Maat and his delegation toured the European Space Research and Technology Centre’s test centre. During this part of the visit, Anja Appelt and her colleagues from ESA ESTEC provided explanations about the test facilities and HERA mission currently in preparation at ESTEC.

Subsequently, the delegation proceeded to The Galileo Reference Centre (GRC), where presentations were hosted by Security Accreditation Board (SAB) chair of the European space programmes Philippe Bertrand and the head of Galileo Security Monitoring Centre in Paris and Madrid, Philippe Rosius. Peter Buist (GRC – EUSPA) provided an explanation of the EU Space program, connection with Defence, and GRC tasks.

Following this, Mr. van der Maat and the delegates were hosted at SBIC (Space Business Innovation Centre) Noordwijk. Martijn Leinweber, COO of SBIC, provided an overview of SBIC Noordwijk, ESA Business Incubation Centre, ESA BIC Test Centre, startups, and ESA Spark Hub. The visit also included brief presentations and pitches, by Airbus, LENS R&D, Stellar Space Industries, HDES/Solidflow, Revolv Space, Spherical Systems, and Clemessy.

‘It was great to see the enthusiasm and interest of the Staatssecretaris. We could have spend hours more on the programme just discussing all the topics presented. As NL Space Campus, we are very happy with the remarks by Mr. Van der Maat and the other delegation members made about the potential of future involvement of Defence in the activities of the Campus,’ comments Marc Sandelowsky, director of the NL Space Campus.

‘We brought together people from the Space Industry and the Defence sector, which is unique,’ says Maaike Smelter, community manager of the NL Space Campus. ‘It demonstrates that both parties want to cooperate more closely, creating more opportunities to innovate. This visit showcased collaborative efforts and initiatives taking place at NL Space Campus, highlighting its potential as a catalyst for future developments in space-related projects.

Photo Credit: Marc Sandelowsky, NL Space Campus

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