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On the 26 April, a group of graduating students of the Interdisciplinary Space Master (ISM) attended sessions held by space industry experts at Technoport S.A., a Luxembourgish business incubator supporting the development of innovative tech companies in the Grand Duchy.

The executives delivered technical sessions about their innovative ventures, and followed up with practical demonstrations of their technologies at Technoport’s headquarters in Belval. The visit represented a follow-up on technical seminars the three speakers previously delivered in the framework of the Interdisciplinary Space Master’s CubeSat laboratory.

“My main goal was for the students to get in touch with deep tech innovations and entrepreneurship. This was especially important as these students are about to graduate, and will soon need to take important decisions about their professional future. At the event, the executives also discussed with the students potential upcoming opportunities at their companies, which was great for them to start establishing connections and job prospects within their industry,” said Dr. Jan Thoemel, Head of the CubeSatLab, who organised the event.

The three CEOs – from Odysseus SpaceSparc Industries and Bradford Deep Space Industries – held in-depth technical seminars, providing insights into deep tech research and developments taking place in Luxembourg. In particular, Odysseus CEO Jordan Vannitsen held a session about optical space communication, i.e. the use of lasers to communicate a large amount of data between satellites, as well as between satellites and Earth. Bradford Deep Space Industries Technical Director Alexander Finch held a session on water-based electric propulsion and other deep space technologies. Finally, Sparc CEO Dejan Petkow  spoke about deep-tech innovation and challenges of entrepreneurial life.

The event took place under the umbrella of an existing partnership that the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg and Technoport have entered into earlier this year. The goal of this collaboration is to provide business mentoring services to SnT researchers, and to create joint networking opportunities for SnT researchers and the technology companies hosted by Technoport. The ISM students can also benefit from the close cooperation between the research centre and the business incubator by taking part to seminars and visits organised in the framework of their studies.

The graduating students are part of the first cohort of the ISM, a Master’s degree developed in partnership with the Luxembourg Space Agency and launched in 2019. The Master has been designed to train professionals to manage the technical side as well as the business side of complex space missions and operations. The Study Programme of the ISM was especially designed with this double focus in mind – a unique feature setting it apart from other Master courses. To provide students with the best of the two worlds, the ISM features technical and business lectures from highly experienced academic staff and external experts from the space sector.