Berlin. 05 June 2018. Today’s award ceremony in Berlin marks the end of the INNOspace Masters ideas competition, and the listed aerospace and technology group OHB SE has chosen the winners of the OHB Challenge: Mathijs Martens and Gerben Stouten from the OPE Group in the Netherlands with their project “Biocontroller platform technology to improve microbes on space missions”. The Dutch created an application that makes it possible to train microbes to be useful for space missions. The technology also helps to keep clean water available on space missions. Another advantage: Strengthening the microbiome of astronauts to prevent diseases. In addition to financial support, the winning team will also receive a pilot contract from OHB.
INNOspace Masters is organised by the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., DLR) and embedded in the INNOspace® initiative. AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, an international networking company for aviation and aerospace-relevant innovation competitions, has been organising the INNOspace Masters since 2015 on behalf of DLR Space Administration. In addition to OHB, partners of the competition include Airbus and the ESA Business Incubation Centers in Bavaria and Darmstadt.
For the first time: Own challenge of OHB
This year, for the first time, OHB acted as an official partner and provided its own challenge. The motto of the current competition, which is aimed at young companies, universities, research centres and individuals, is “Space Moves”. It looked for ideas and concepts of varying degrees of innovation and maturity for the different competition categories. “OHB received many exciting submissions, all very different, covering diverse fields of activity. I am happy to say that our candidates are young, even very young, and I am pleased to see that the space sector is attracting and inspiring the young generation. This generation is the future of space travel”, said Dr. Fritz Merkle, Management Board member of OHB SE, in his laudatory speech. Merkle added that it was important to OHB to support the young generation, to develop its projects and to make available a good environment for their realisation. The teams that came second and third in the OHB Challenge will also receive support from the OHB Group. The three winning teams will cooperate with four subsidiaries in three different countries: OHB System, OHB Sweden, MT Aerospace and Blue Horizon.
Difficult decision: Many good suggestions for the OHB Challenge
“We received many good proposals, and it was not easy to pick the winner”, says Dr. Timo Stuffler, Head of Business Development at OHB System AG. “All three will receive individual support from OHB for their projects and the opportunity to appear at our stand during the IAC in October.”
In second place in OHB’s ranking came Alvaro Soria-Solinas, Maria-Paz Zorzano and Javier Martin-Torris from the Luleå University of Technology in Sweden for their project “Improved pressure volume temperature measurement methods for electric drive systems”. This system is eight times more accurate than others for these measurement methods. Third place went to Andres Lüdeke, Lars Kesseler and Jonas Vogler of Aachen University with their project “ESKIMO – The Next Generation Kickstage”. It comprises the development, construction and use of a micro launcher that will make it possible to propel small satellites into higher orbits. The project team is currently also busy establishing its own start-up, “Levity Space Systems”. Those in second and third place will also receive individual support from OHB and be given the opportunity to present their idea at the OHB stand during the International Astronautical Congress IAC 2018 in Bremen.
The overall winners of the ESA-BIC Challenge were Patrick Schulte and Fabian Steiner from start-up ShapeComm in Munich with their project “ShapeComm – Shaping the future of SatCom”.