Working Group Potential Topics 

Working Groups are at the core of the 7th E-SGW. Thanks to our sponsors, we have put together a series of WGs covering a range of exciting topics that will allow fruitful discussions among delegates. Supported by Subject Matter Experts, these WGs will tackle some of the challenges (and opportunities) that the European space industry faces, and chart a new path forward.

WG1The Multifaceted Impacts of Space Weather: From Human Health and Safety to Societal Resilience and Beyond

Joint working group - University of Bari and DTA

Space weather is a complex and dynamic system that can cause a wide range of impacts on Earth and beyond. This interdisciplinary WG explores the diverse challenges posed by space weather, including its effects on human health and safety during manned missions, the health of our planet, and the use of space weather technologies for deep space observation. It also examines the connections between space weather and deep space applications in our solar system, while delving into the impacts of space weather on critical infrastructure and societal resilience. Drawing on insights from astrophysics, remote sensing, meteorology, climate science, risk management, and social science, The working group will aim to give a comprehensive perspective on the complex and dynamic nature of space weather and its implications for our world.

Rochelle Velho (SGAC)

Subject Matter Experts:
Prof. Francesco Giordano (Università degli Studi di Bari)
Serena Loporchio

WG2Space Commercialisation

Europe is offering many opportunities for the creation of new businesses in the Space industry, and the past ten years have seen the development of many programmes to turn innovative ideas into operational startups in Europe. But incorporating a company is only a step, a means rather than an end. While the European market holds the key ingredients for ‘New Space’ startups, it remains challenging for them to turn into successful, mature companies. For a thriving commercial space ecosystem to happen, startups must be supported in the scale up of their business and workforce. To this end, a new strategy going forward is needed. An ambitious European strategy for the public institutions and agencies is a condition of this future success.

Florian Kuegerl (SGAC)

Christine Dubbert 

Subject Matter Expert:

Florian Marmuse is the Commercialisation Officer at the Directorate CIP (Commercialisation, Industry, Procurement), led by Géraldine Naja. This is part of the Department Commercialisation, whose head is Luca del Monte.

As part of the commercialisation department at ESA/ESTEC, Florian has worked in strengthening the relations between ESA, the start-up ecosystem, and the investor community since September 2022. He is the point of contact for the ESA Investor Network established in 2022 and works across ESA to increase the participation of new companies in the programmes and the entrepreneurial mindset of the ESA workforce.

Prior to this, Florian was Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Latitude, the leading French micro-launcher company. Involved in public and governmental relations, fundraising as well as day-to-day management, he saw the growth of the company from 20 to 60 employees and its establishment as a credible actor in the French industrial ecosystem. 

Before joining Latitude, Florian was project manager for smallsat projects, and involved in the early phases of different space companies, with a core focus on small satellites and electric propulsion.

Florian holds a PhD in Plasma Physics from Sorbonne University (FR), a MSc in Aerospace Engineering from École Polytechnique (FR) and ISAE-SUPAERO (FR), a MSc in Astrophysics and Planetology from Université Paul Sabatier (FR) as well as a certificate in Business Foundations from INSEAD (FR).

WG3 – Boosting Green Activities and Digitalisation

Space technology could be critical to power the development of a green economy within a European ecosystem in the coming years, and several initiatives are already working towards this goal, promoting green development while supporting the shift to digital services. Research on ecological safety for space launches and green propellants is one example. But also, space technologies support a green transition in urban and agricultural sectors, monitor the biosphere, and collect critical data to face the climate emergency. These activities will play an increasingly pivotal role in expanding the European green market, on Earth and in space.

Chiara Cocchiara (SGAC) and Milica Milosev (SGAC)

Subject Matter Expert:

Radim is an entrepreneur with a background in software development, ground segment design and satellite communications. He is the co-founder and CEO of Groundspace, a startup focusing on ground segment and mission support solutions for emerging types of space missions such as constellations of small satellites. Radim has over ten years of experience designing innovative solutions for communication satellite operators. He is currently based in Montpellier, France

WG4 – Europe for a Safe and Sustainable Space

Telespazio logo

European space efforts have thus far taken the values of both safety and sustainability to its core and will continue to do so for the future. Specifically, through recent efforts towards developing Space Traffic Management practices, the support of space debris removal research and development, and the positive attitude towards the definition of norms of behaviour in space. All of these demonstrate how Europe intends to be a leader in creating a safe and sustainable space while showcasing an excellent capacity for building strategic autonomy and industrial competitiveness.

Salman Ali Thepdawala (SGAC)

WG5 – The Future of Europe on the Moon

Despite the incredible achievements of the Apollo program, across all its 6 missions that reached the Moon surface, only 80 hours of cumulated surface EVA time, for a total of almost 100 km, were travelled on the Moon surface.

The new Moon program, of which Artemis is the forerunner, is aimed at returning to the Moon to stay. This will have to be achieved in a gradual fashion; eventually, retracing the steps of the Apollo missions in the beginning; but its ambitions and expected benefits stretch well beyond what Apollo was able to achieve.

The Working Group should elaborate on the efforts requested to return to the Moon in a (environmental and financial) sustainable way; capitalizing from the existing technologies and reviewing those emerging capabilities that may enable the establishment of the requested conditions for a human settlement on the Moon. In particular, the synergies between humans and machines should be reviewed in a way that their collaboration will result in a continuous efficient Moon utilization program, also when humans are not present on the Moon surface. In summary, how do we bring Europe to the Moon?

Bram de Winter (SGAC)

Subject Matter Expert:

Carlo Mirra is an entrepreneurial senior executive with more than 30 years’ experience in the international space field. Currently, he is Sales Director (ESA Lead Key Account Manager)  in the Institutional Business Growth division of Airbus Defence and Space.

Carlo holds an aerospace engineering degree at the University of Naples (MSc), followed by a post-graduation specialization in re-entry aerodynamics at the von Karman Institute in Brussels, Belgium.

He has managed European human spaceflight operations in several ESA missions with NASA and Roscosmos for almost 10 years (three years collocated at ESTEC).

Before that, Carlo was Infrastructure, Sales and Services Director at Intospace (GER) and SpaceHab (USA). In this capacity, he was responsible for European commercial sales of SpaceHab services

In his earlier career days, Carlo worked at the MARS Center (ITA) where he soon became responsible for the setup of the Italian User Support Center for ISS operations.

Carlo is very engaged in voluntary activities with both aerospace professional’s organizations and young generation coaching and mentorship via ISU, TU Delft, SGAC and the University of Naples.

He is a long lasting volunteer with the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). Starting in 1989, he contributed to the activities of the Publication (Acta Astronautica), Space Education and Space Operations Committees. He chaired the Human Space Flight Committee. He is currently member of the IPC-Steering Group and chair of the Industrial Relations Committee. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in 2016.

He was the recipient of several ISS mission awards, author of more than 50 papers, flew almost 200 parabolas and ranked 4th in the 1998 ESA/ASI astronaut selection.

Carlo lived and worked in Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and US. He has a strong understanding of cultural differences and is an eager promoter of diversity on the workplace.

He is married to Nadia and is a father of two (an architect and a soon-to-be molecular chemist). He is an undisciplined guitar player and an avid football (soccer) fan.

WG6 – Diverse and Inclusive Space Exploration

This Working Group will explore best practices, identify gaps, and provide recommendations for the development of inclusive and diverse space exploration programs that guarantee intergenerational equity and sustainability principles for the benefit of all present and future generations.