• 16 November
  • 17 November

Opening Remarks: Welcome to Luxembourg

09:00 am 09:15 am Room 1

Welcome to Luxembourg & conference overview


New Frontiers of Opportunities

09:15 am 09:45 am Room 1


The Road to Mars

09:45 am 10:30 am Room 1


Why Law Matters Even in Space!

10:30 am 10:40 am Room 1


Networking Break, Sponsored by Allen & Overy

10:40 am 11:00 am Foyer

Facilitated networking mixer

Opportunities & Obstacles for Scaling Up Startups in Europe

11:00 am 12:00 pm Room 1

This session will be a debate-style discussion to explore what problems startups are facing in Europe and what solutions startups, mature companies, and governments can find or create for these problems. 


Are We Alone? A Journey to the Stars

12:00 pm 12:20 pm Room 1


Artificial Intelligence and Space

12:20 pm 12:30 pm Room 1


Lunch, Sponsored by SES

12:30 pm 01:30 pm Foyer

Vision for ESA

01:30 pm 02:00 pm Room 1


Shooting for the Moon: Panel Introduction

02:00 pm 02:05 pm Room 1

Setting the stage for the lunar village discussion with remarks by President of the Moon Village Association, Giuseppe Reibaldi.


It Takes A Village

02:05 pm 03:00 pm Room 1

Discussion on exciting technologies for enabling sustainable exploration, industry, and human life at the Deep-Space Gateway and Moon Village


Luxembourg as a Financing Hub for Space Activities

03:00 pm 03:10 pm Room 1


Networking Break, Sponsored by Arendt & Medernach

03:10 pm 03:30 pm Foyer

Innovation at Thales Alenia Space

03:30 pm 03:45 pm Room 1

Learn more about the TAS innovation roadmap and strategy on different space segments from an innovation perspective.


Space Resources and the Space Economy

03:45 pm 04:00 pm Room 1

Setting the stage for the space investment panel discussion


Between a Rock and a Hard Space

04:00 pm 05:00 pm Room 1

Where does venture capital come from? How does it differ between regions, between nations? What is a typical timescale for return on investment, and how does this change (if at all) for space-based ventures? This session will focus on these and other questions surrounding venture capital investing in space and space-related companies.


Better: The Venture Capital Model In Space​

05:00 pm 05:25 pm Room 1


Announcement: Evening Program

05:25 pm 05:30 pm Room 1

Thank you & evening events overview


International Cooperation for the Development of Space Resources Activities

05:30 pm 06:30 pm Press Room

The development of space resource activities is happening now. In the absence of a clear framework to govern these activities, there is a need to examine the concepts that are being discussed in order to ensure that they meet existing treaty obligations regarding on-orbit operations and space resource rights. These concepts need to enable, support and co-ordinate the use of space resources and be acceptable for space-faring nations and other interested States.

The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group (Working Group, WG) was established in 2015 and carried out its activities during 2016 and 2017. The objective of the WG was to assess the need for a regulatory framework for space resource activities related to the use of mineral and volatile materials on the Moon and other Celestial Bodies, as well as, in case of need, to lay the groundwork for the development of such a regulatory framework. Such groundwork could include the identification and development of building blocks for the governance of space resources with possible implementation strategies as well as the identification of a relevant forum for negotiations in order to encourage states to start negotiating an international agreement or non-legally binding instrument, such as a code of conduct to regulate the use of space resources.

The Working Group was hosted by a consortium of organizations representing all continents. The WG had 22 members and more than 40 observers. The members represented governments, international organizations, space agencies, industry and academics from various disciplines. Four multi-day face-to-face meetings were held in Leiden, the Netherlands. The Working Group has been recognized as a valuable informal international multi-stakeholder forum to discuss space resource governance issues. The Working Group has also been invited to participate in the UN Action Team on Exploration and Innovation, set up to support Thematic Priority 1 of UNISPACE+50, to be held in June 2018.
The Working Group has achieved its objective: 19 Building Blocks were provisionally identified and elaborated by its members, and this has concluded the phase 1. At the NewSpace Europe conference, the Working Group will be presented together with some of the Building Blocks and the outlook for the continuation of the activities in the period 2018/19.


Awards Ceremony of Space Exploration Masters

06:30 pm 08:00 pm Room 1

Register here to attend the first Space Exploration Masters Awards Ceremony on 16 November 2017 - the festive evening event at the NewSpace Europe conference.

During this Awards, the most innovative business ideas of LEO (ISS), Moon, Mars, and beyond will be honored by the following world-class partners: European Space Agency (ESA), Airbus Defence and Space, The Ministry of the Economy of the Government of Luxembourg, Stevenson Astrosat and the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, Alabama. Particular highlights are the key speakers Mr. Johann-Dietrich Wörner, General Director of ESA and Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg. Take this opportunity and participate at the Awards Ceremony and the following networking dinner in the foyer. This event is free of charge.

The Space Exploration Masters is an international competition to identify best technology transfer business successes, as well as to empower and foster business innovation around space exploration activities to benefit society and Earth. AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen has launched the Space Exploration Masters on behalf of ESA to – besides others - implement the goals of the ESA Space Exploration Strategy in Europe.

Launchpad Reception, Sponsored by EBAN, EBAN Space, ENPULSION, & Portugal FCT

08:00 pm 11:00 pm Foyer

Opening the Space Frontier: Atlantic International Research Center (AIR)

09:00 am 09:10 am Room 1


Back to the Future - 35 Years of Newspace

09:10 am 09:30 am Room 1


Seeding Stars

09:30 am 10:15 am Room 1

In this panel session, we'll hear from five investors about the world of seed stage investment. What is needed for startups to get from seed stage to Series A, B, C? What barriers exist for entrepreneurs moving from seed to series other than funding that angel groups can help solve? What technologies do our experts see on the technology roadmap over the next 5-10 years? 


ENPULSION: Networking Break Welcome

10:15 am 10:25 am Room 1

Networking Break, sponsored by ENPULSION

10:25 am 10:45 am Foyer

Equipping Our Planet: LEO Technologies Changing the Future of Earth Economies, Societies, and Opportunities

10:45 am 11:30 am Room 1

This panel session will cover a wide variety of topics around how LEO technologies, especially those enabled by smallsats, are changing our future in space and on Earth. Where is smallsat technology going and how does the development process differ from predecessors? What challenges do smallsats face, or even create? What is the LEO technology market like right now, and is there enough diversity in what might seem like a crowded market?


We Need More Space

11:30 am 11:45 am Room 1


AZO Winner Highlight: AZO Space Exploration Masters Presents

11:45 am 12:15 pm Room 1

5 winners to present in prize categories for New Ideas for Business Innovation, and Best Technology Transfer Business Success, 1 overall winner (7 minutes for each of the 5 speakers)


From ISS to the Moon

12:15 pm 12:30 pm Room 1


Lunch, Sponsored by ESA

12:30 pm 01:30 pm Foyer

What keeps a Newspace CEO Awake At Night?

01:30 pm 02:00 pm Room 1


Quick Fire Startup Talks

02:00 pm 03:20 pm Room 1

Lightning-round short presentations by premier European space startups


See Change. Change the World.

03:20 pm 03:40 pm Room 1


Farewell Reception

03:40 pm 04:30 pm Foyer


President & CEO
Ane Aanesland is a recognised expert in plasma physics and electric propulsion. She is the author of 60+ refereed journal papers, inventor of 4 patents, and has over 100 conferences contributions including 25 invited talks at prestigious international conferences.

Ane started her career at the northernmost university in the world, The Arctic University of Norway, where she obtained a PhD in Plasma Physics. She then worked as a researcher at the Australian National University in Australia for three years, before she came to France in 2006. She entered the CNRS in 2008 and was responsible for research on innovative electric propulsion at the Ecole Polytechnique. She later headed a 30 people research group in the Laboratory of Plasma physics, and was nominated director of research at the CNRS in 2017.

She is now on leave from the CNRS and together with her colleague Dmytro Rafalskyi, she funded the startup ThrustMe in February of 2017, where she is the president and CEO. ThrustMe is now 8 people and they recently raised 2.1 M€ in private equity and governmental grants.
Ane likes "impossible" challenges both in the professional and private life. She biked from Oslo to Rome in 21 days (2940 km), runs half-marathon in 1h42 minutes and explore the wild back-countries of Norway, Australia, Alaska on auto sufficiency over several weeks.

17 November



17 November


Managing Director
Seraphim Capital

16 November


Co-founder & Director

17 November


Mr. Buus is CEO of the Company and has been CEO of GomSpace ApS since 2014. Mr. Buus is chairman of the board of directors of Chora Group and Northern VO ApS, board member of Level 8 ApS as well as owner and CEO of Longbus Holding ApS.

Mr. Buus was chairman of the board of directors of GomSpace ApS until December 2013 and board member until February 2016. He was chairman of the board of directors of Logistikkompagniet until August 2012 and iDoc Engineering ApS until August 2012. He was a board member of Necas A/S until May 2015, Miitors until March 2015, CIS Technologies until March 2014, SystemTeknik A/S until March 2014. He acted as Director over the Defense and Fuel section in DESMI Pumping Technology A/S until November 2013 and interim CEO in Optica A/S until June 2013.

Mr. Buus has been CEO, board member as well as chairman of several companies. He holds a Master of Science degree in Leadership and Management from London Business School (London, UK), a Master of Science degree in Applied Optics from Imperial College (London, UK) and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Aalborg University (Aalborg, Denmark).

16 November


Founder & CEO
Bryce Space and Technology
Carissa Bryce Christensen is the founder and CEO of Bryce Space and Technology. She previously co-founded The Tauri Group, LLC and was a partner in CenTauri Solutions, LLC (acquired by CSC in 2010).

Ms. Christensen is an internationally- recognized expert in commercial space. For over two decades she has engaged the leading edge of the space industry with innovative analysis of space systems and advanced technology. She led the creation of widely-used financial and economic indicators now considered global metrics for the commercial space and satellite sectors.

A frequent speaker and author on space and satellite trends, Carissa serves as a strategic advisor to government and commercial clients, and has been an expert witness and testified before Congress on market dynamics. She is also an active investor in technology-focused startups and advises several companies she has helped seed. She serves on the board of QxBranch, an early stage quantum computing software firm in which she is a partner.

Ms. Christensen holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, where she specialized in science and technology policy. She also completed the General Course in Government at the London School of Economics and was a Douglass Scholar at Rutgers University.

Ms. Christensen is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

16 November


Managing Director
Newable Private Investing
Anthony is professionally a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Legal Secretary and is a Co Founder and Managing Partner of the £30m Seraphim Capital Fund and the £67m Seraphim Space Fund. He is also Managing Director of City of London based Newable Private Investing which is part of the long established Newable Group He is a Co Founder and was Chairman of the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) from August 2004 to July 2012 and remained on its Board until 2014. He is President Emeritus of European Business Angels Network (EBAN) having been its President from 2004-2009 and a Board member from 2002 - 2010. He is currently Chairman of EBAN Space.

17 November


Business & Open Innovation Director
Thales Alenia Space
Vincent has worked for Thales for 13 years. His first years have been dedicated to innovation in space, aerospace, defence and security applications, based in France then the Netherlands. He then worked for Thales UK HQ taking charge of its R&D competitiveness. He afterwards took charge of the sales operations of a $3B Thales business headquartered. He now leads the business and open innovation efforts of Thales Alenia Space, including coordinating the development and deployment of new business models and the relationship with startups.
Vincent holds a Master of Science from Supélec, a Master of Engineering from University of Wollongong and an Executive MBA from Imperial College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and a Member of Chatham House. In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor sports and mentoring startups.

16 November


Founder & Managing Partner
Promus Ventures
Mike Collett is Founder and Managing Partner of Promus Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Chicago investing in deep-technology software and hardware companies in the U.S. and Europe. Mike has been a venture capital investor in software and hardware for over 15 years. He has invested in more than 60 private technology companies, including areas such as artificial intelligence, space, virtual reality/ alternative reality, machine learning, robotics, natural language processing, autonomous vehicles/connected car, bitcoin/blockchain, computer vision, digital health, fintech, insurance, nanotechnology and others.

Mike has invested in such leading companies as AngelList, Rocket Lab, Kensho, and Mapbox and currently serves on numerous Boards of Directors of private technology companies, including Spire, Layer, Gauss Surgical, Dispatch and others.

Mike previously was Founder and Managing Partner of Masters Capital Nanotechnology Fund, a venture capital firm, where he invested in technology companies focused on quantum cascade lasers, quantum dots, photonic integrated optoelectronic devices, and others. While at Masters Capital, a hedge fund, Mike invested in private software and hardware technology startups.

Prior to venture capital, Mike was a Vice President at Merrill Lynch in their Mergers & Acquisitions group as well as an Associate at Duff & Phelps.

Mike holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Math and Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Vanderbilt University. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Washington University in St. Louis.

Mike and his wife Paige have four children and live in Chicago.

17 November


Science Editor
Financial Times
Clive Cookson has worked in science journalism for the whole of his professional life. He left Oxford University in 1974 with a First Class Honours degree in chemistry. Clive joined the Times in 1981 as technology correspondent. In 1983 he moved to BBC Radio as science and medical correspondent. He joined his present newspaper, the Financial Times, as technology editor. He has also written about the chemical and pharmaceutical industries for the FT - and since 1991 he has been the paper's science editor. Clive leads a writing team at the FT, covering science and technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

16 November


Machine Learning Engineer
Jacek Czaja is a machine learning engineer that works for Intel. His area of focus is research on new deep learning ideas as well optimizing deep learning algorithms for Intel Devices.

16 November


Head of Innovation and Transfer of Technologies Unit
ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana)

16 November


Team Leader, Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth
European Commission
Thibaud Delourme studied Economics at the University of Oxford. He joined the European Commission in 2013, where he worked in the Chief Economist unit of the Directorate General for Industry and Internal Market (DG GROW). He is now team leader for Copernicus user uptake in the unit on Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth. His team develops initiatives to increase the use of Copernicus and to foster innovation in the space data sector, notably by supporting start-ups, universities and public organisations.

16 November


Business Development
Daniela Dobreva-Nielsen took over Business Development at AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen in 2015. AZO is an international networking and branding company for space-related innovation competitions with more than 15,000 participants, over 200 industrial & public - and 400 international stakeholders. AZO has been supporting entrepreneurship with 128 company foundations and the creation of 1,600 new jobs in Bavaria with a turnover of EUR 140 Mio in 2016/2017. Additionally, AZO runs a very successful business angel network which invested more than EUR 40 Mio in 2016.

Since devoting her work to AZO, Daniela covers a wide variety of space related topics, such as space exploration, space 4.0, satellite navigation or Earth observation. Simultaneously she handles non-space topics such as energy supply or trading.

Daniela is responsible for the Space Exploration Masters from its very beginning: Innovation & eco-system creation and management, partner management (ESA and partners), implementation of Europe’s first space exploration competition, to the point of presentation and overseeing the execution.

With 23 years of extensive experience in global sales with a proven track record of revenue and market-share growth in media and technology corporations, she is a strong Strategic Business Developer. Daniela has a profound background in account management, business development, sales planning and execution, communications and marketing.

17 November


Head of Division, Innovation Finance Advisory
European Investment Bank
Shiva heads the Innovation Finance Advisory Division in the EIB. She has been at the EIB since 2003, first in Risk Management, then in its Lending Directorate financing higher risk, innovative projects before joining the Advisory Services Department.

Before EIB, Shiva was Director of High Yield at Fitch Rating Agency developing its European High Yield rating business and worked in the M&A Advisory and Emerging Markets Investment Banking Group at J.P. Morgan in New York and London.

Shiva holds a BA in Economics from Columbia University and an Executive MBA from London Business School (LBS). In 2000, Shiva co-founded the European High Yield Association (EHYA), which is now part of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME). In 2006, Credit Magazine nominated Shiva to its Top 50 Women in Credit.

16 November


Founder & CEO
Ralph Ewig holds 3 aerospace degrees from the University of Washington, and an MS in Business Management for experienced leaders (MSx) from Stanford.

In 2000, he joined Andrews Space (now Spaceflight), where he was Principal Investigator for the Mini-MagOrion program with Sandia National Labs, worked with the FAA/AIAA RLV Safety Group, contributed to the NASA Alternate Access to Space Station program, and was the exploration architecture lead under NASA’s Project Constellation program.

In 2005, he became a partner in Holder Aerospace, consulting on space systems and launch vehicle development.

From 2006 through 2008, he joined AirLaunch, and was responsible for the VaPak propulsion system and performance of the QuickReach launch vehicle under the USAF/DARPA Falcon program.

In 2010, he transitioned to SpaceX as a Mission Operations Engineer, focused on the Dragon spacecraft for the NASA Commercial Space Transportation Services (COTS) program. There he supported spacecraft integration, and was a mission operator for the first 3 flights to the International Space Station (ISS).

In 2012, he joined Aerojet as VP of Engineering for Sacramento, managing 300+ engineers and in 2013 transitioned to VP of Avionics following Aerojet’s acquisition of Rocketdyne, managing staff at 8 sites across the US while executing programs in space, launch, defense, aviation, and energy.

In 2014, he returned to school at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, graduated in 2015, and transitioned to founder & CEO of Audacy – a provider of spacecraft communications with the mission to deliver anytime, seamless space connectivity, that advances humanity to a new age of space commerce, exploration, and discovery.

17 November


Funder Nation
Uli is the CEO of FunderNation, Germany’s only crowdinvesting platform that is run by a team of investment professionals. She is also one of the founders and CEO of Triangle Venture Capital Group, one of Europe’s leading investors in hightech start-up companies.

Uli served as Chairwoman of Invest Europe (formerly the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association - EVCA) in 2010-2011. She was also named the most powerful person in private equity for 2010 by REAL DEALS and has been recognised by Dow Jones as one of the 100 most influential women in Europe’s finance industry.

Throughout her career, Uli served on numerous boards of companies and has been a longstanding board member of the EVCA. She currently serves on the board of iPharro, semafora and SemEO. Uli is member of the Space-Tech Advisory Council, the aws Seed Financing Board in Vienna, the Kuratorium of Fraunhofer MOEZ in Leipzig and the EBAN Space Executive Committee.

Uli was one of the pioneers in the early internet days, programming BTX (the German internet predecessor) back in ’88. She graduated at the age of 21 from the University of Applied Sciences, Worms with an MBA. Before co-founding Triangle Venture Capital Group in 1996, Uli has been CEO and founder of a number of start-up companies which she later sold successfully.

Uli is an unflinching optimist and an entrepreneur to the core – so it’s best not tell her something “does not work”. In her leisure time Uli enjoys snowboarding, ballroom dancing and cooking.

17 November


Co-founder & CEO
Space Cargo Unlimited
Aged 46, Nicolas Gaume is a French tech entrepreneur and executive. Since the age of 19, he has founded or co-founded nine startups in multiple fields: gaming, web services, B2B trading, mobile and social apps publishing, development tools, children book publishing, consulting services... He has also held various management responsibilities in such companies as Lagardere, Ubisoft or Microsoft. Finally, he is actively involved in his family real estate, construction and hospitality activities, located on the Bay of Arcachon, in the South West of France.

A long time space enthusiast, he co-founded Space Cargo Unlimited in 2014, which he will first introduce at the NewSpace Europe Conference in November 2018.

17 November


Counsel - Luxembourg
Allen & Overy
Jacques has experience of a wide range of cross-border public and private M&A and corporate transactions across all sectors with a specific focus on financial institutions, listed companies and real estate. Jacques also regularly advises actors from the public sector in Luxembourg. He is an active member of our Space & Satellites practice group as well as our FinTech task force, supporting clients from established financial institutions, incumbents and start-ups.

Prior to joining Allen & Overy in 2013, Jacques worked for five years at two major U.S. law firms in New York and Paris where he gained significant experience in capital markets and financing transactions in addition to working on corporate matters. He was a lecturer in corporate law at the University of Paris II-Assas from 2010 to 2013 and has published various articles on the subject.

16 November


Founder & CEO
ispace, inc
Takeshi studied Aerospace Engineering and received his M.S. degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Enchanted by Star Wars movies at a young age, the dawn of the new commercial space industry and the success of non-governmental entities like the Ansari XPRIZE drew his attention and curiosity. Takeshi chose to enter the consulting industry after graduation, where he developed team management skills and led multiple successful cost reduction projects. Since 2010, he has led Team HAKUTO, competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. In 2014, he contributed to meetings initiated by the Minister of State of Japan to discuss the new space industry.

16 November


Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education
Government of Portugal
Manuel Heitor is Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education in the Government of Portugal since November 2015. From March 2005 to June 2011 he served as Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education.

Manuel Heitor is full Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, IST, the engineering school of the University of Lisbon and was founder and director of the IST´s “Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research”, as well as director of the IST´s doctoral Programs in “Engineering and Public Policy, EPP” and in “Enginering Design”. In 2011-12 he was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard.

He earned a PhD at Imperial College, London, in 1985 in combustion research and did post-doctoral training at the University of California San Diego. Then he pursued an academic career at IST, in Lisbon, where he served as Deputy-President for the period 1993-1998. Since 1995, he has been Research Fellow of the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas at Austin. He is a founding member of the S&T Council of the “International Risk Governance Council”, IRGC. He was a co-founder of the European network “science, technology, education and policy for Europe, step4EU”.

17 November


Managing Partner
SpaceTec Capital
Rainer Horn is the Managing Partner of the consulting firm SpaceTec Partners and a member of several institutional boards in space programmes in Europe and Asia. In addition to his wide expertise and network in (New)Space, Rainer looks back on 20 years of experience in working with Asia-Pacific. Prior to becoming a successful entrepreneur, Rainer was the leader of the European space consulting practice at Booz Allen Hamilton. Rainer has studied at ESB in Reutlingen & London and he attained an MBA from INSEAD.

SpaceTec Capital invests in space applications and space-related disruptive technologies at the interface to major markets, such as mobility, agriculture, insurance, energy, etc. Disruptors like positioning, geo-intelligence, autonomous motion, and ubiquitous connectivity help to digitalise large established industries and to address infrastructure challenges. SpaceTec Capital is active in the space application financing as early stage investors, M&A advisors and start-up coaches in business and technology strategy.

16 November


General Manager
Global Space Ventures
Helene Huby is General Manager of Global Space Ventures, a global ventures fund in creation which focuses on space. She is also a senior advisor of Red River West (Euro-American tech. ventures fund).

She joined Airbus Defence & Space as Innovation Director in 2013 and grew a portfolio of over 50 new businesses ranging from space data-based services to electrical-powered stratospheric drones. Helene has played a critical role in the creation of the Airbus Group Innovation Centre in Silicon Valley, Airbus Ventures, and in the Airbus-OneWeb partnership.

Helene began her career at the French Ministry of Sciences & Research as Deputy Head of Department for European Affairs.

Helene is a young leader of the French American Foundation. She graduated from Ecole Normale Superieure with an MS in Economics & Applied Mathematics, and from Ecole Nationale d’Administration with a Masters of Public Administration.

Helene has a strong desire to contribute to the growth of a peaceful & accessible space ecosystem, in which Europe would play a strong role.

17 November


NASA Frontier Development Lab
Sara Jennings is the Producer for NASA Frontier Development Lab, an applied Artificial Intelligence research accelerator designed to enhance NASA’s capabilities by combining the expertise of government agencies, academia, and the private sector. Previously, Sara worked at the XPRIZE Foundation in prize development, developing various designs in the health, energy and transportation fields as well as in operations for the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. Sara Jennings is an advocate of the Space Frontier Foundation and previous board member and NewSpace conference chair. She is also a SEDS alumni and former Vice Chair of SEDS-USA. Sara graduated from the University of Arizona with a dual degree in Linguistics and Communications.

16 November


Serial Entrepreneur and Investor
EBAN, Teleport Europe, Europe Online, OWNSAT, KAcific, Success Europe, EBAN
Candace Johnson, co-initiator of SES ASTRA and architect of SES Global has been doing “New Space” for the last 35 years ever since she helped create some of the first commercial satellite television and radio distribution networks in the United States in the late 70’s and early 80’s before starting already in February 1983 on the journey that would lead to the creation of SES, the world’s first private trans-border satellite system and to her helping build it to be one of the largest satellite systems in the world today.

From that point on, Ms. Johnson’s life has been devoted to starting and building “New Space” ventures, be they privately financed, commercial satellite television and telecommunication networks, satellite mobile networks, satellite Internet Networks or privately financed commercial satellite launch ventures. Today, Ms. Johnson continues her work with a number of satellite and launch ventures related to Space Situational Awareness, Earth Observation and Intelligence, High Through-Put Satellite Internet, micro satellite launchers, as well as promoting and creating “New Space” investment funds, etc. She is thrilled that the “Golden Era of Space” in this 60th anniversary year of Sputnik is coinciding with a democratisation of space and equity investment throughout the world.

Ms. Johnson recently co-founded Oceania Women’s Network Satellite (OWNSAT). OWNSAT has become a founding investor in the Kacific Satellite System based in Singapore, where Ms. Johnson has also been a Member of the Board. OWNSAT and Kacific are bringing high through-put satellite internet to the islands of the Pacific.

Ms. Johnson is a member of the International Steering Committee of NorthStar, the world’s first dual-mission satellite constellation designed to address two of the most pressing issues of our time, climate change and space debris.

Ms. Johnson was also Vice President of Iridium from 1994 - 1996 during which time she secured the ITU country code, frequency allocations in many countries around the world as well as bringing the company into the GSMA and obtaining financing from Europe.

Ms. Johnson was also instrumental in facilitating the creation of ILS, the private spaceflight partnership between Lockheed Martin, Krunichev and Energia for the marketing of the Proton launchers which resulted in SES’s Astra 1 F satellite being the first commercial occidental satellite to ever be launched on a Russian launcher in 1995 as well as facilitating the relationship leading to the Arianespace Soyuz partnership.

Ms. Johnson is founding President of Europe Online Investments S.A., the world’s first internet-based online service and satellite broadband network, and founder of Loral Cyberstar-Teleport Europe, Europe’s first independent private trans-border satellite communications network.

Ms. Johnson is a Non–Executive Director of SES-Imagotag, a publicly quoted corporation (SESL) on the French Stock Exchange. She was recently re-elected as President of EBAN, the European Business Angel and Early-Stage Investment Network for a two-year term until 2018. Under her presidency, Ms. Johnson is the Co-Founder of ABAN, African Business Angels Network and MBAN, MENA Business Angels Network as well as EBAN Space, EBAN Energy and the Global Business Angels Network (GBAN).

Ms. Johnson is President of Johnson Paradigm Ventures (JPV), a principal founding shareholder with AXA, Caisse des Depots, Bayerische Landesbank, and the SPEF of Sophia Euro Lab, Europe’s first trans-border early-stage investment company based in Sophia Antipolis. JPV is a principal founding shareholder in London-based Ariadne Capital, “Architecting”, one of the earliest supporters and promoters of Skype, the global VoIP phenomenon. Ms. Johnson has served as Founding Member of the Boards of both companies.

Ms. Johnson is founding President of the VATM, the Association of Private Telecom Operators in Germany and founding President of the Global Telecom Women’s Network (GTWN).

Ms. Johnson is a musician and artist, and in 2006 she created the Festival of the Fourth Dimension, the world’s first festival of the Arts, Technology, and Sciences, which became a major French government global initiative for Industrial Innovation and Creativity.

Among many honors, Mrs. Johnson has been decorated as Commander of the Luxembourg Order of Merit and Officer of the Couronne de la Chene in Luxembourg as well as Officer of the Bundesverdienst Kreuz 1. Klasse (Germany) for her work in de-regulation, innovation, privatization, and globalization and the specific projects named above. Ms. Johnson is the second ever recipient of the UN-sponsored World Teleport Associations’ “Founders Award”. In 2002, Ms. Johnson received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” also bestowed on Vinton Cerf and Tim Berners Lee from the World Communication Awards, the prestigious global telecoms organization. In 2012, Ms. Johnson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The International Alliance of Women, and in 2016 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Aerospace Europe.

Ms. Johnson holds Masters Degrees with Honors from the Sorbonne and Stanford Universities, and a Bachelors Degree from Vassar College. On November 12th 2016 she was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

17 November


ABM Space
Co-founder and current vice-president of ABM Space sp. z o.o., one of Poland’s first companies focusing exclusively on space technologies. The company bases on winning robotic teams of the University Rover Challenge competition, and currently runs ESA and NCBiR projects devoted to Mars rover solutions and orbital mechanisms for small satellites. As ABM’s CEO between 2011-2016 he also led several field simulated missions with robotic hardware in harsh environments (Sahara, Alpine glaciers). President of Mars Society Polska between 2007-2016, vice-president of European Space Foundation (organizer of European Rover Challenge). Initiator of EX-PL initiative, focusing on long-term plan of activities enabling Polish participation in exploitation of space resources.

17 November


Strategy & Innovation Senior Consultant and Accelerator Manager
Starburst Accelerator
Hannah has been helping Starburst to grow from its very beginnings as a startup in Paris. Starburst is the first aerospace startup accelerator worldwide and pushes for common work between legacy players and startups in the aerospace industry. It also consults on innovation and growth challenges (topics like future trends, product strategy, open innovation for companies, etc). 

Hannah holds a masters degree in management from NOVA School of Business and Economics with a Major in Strategy and has been working on innovation project assignments all over Europe.

17 November


Ofer Lapid holds a B.Sc in Electrical Engineering and a M.Sc in Electronics Systems engineering and Management from Tel Aviv university. He is an alumnus, adjunct faculty member and a trustee at the International Space University (ISU) representing the Israel Space Agency.

Ofer has over 25 years’ experience in Aerospace and Space program management and technology development. He has been a member of the Specialized Panel of Scientific Experts pursuant to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Outer Space Rules since 2016.

Currently, Ofer is the Program Manager of the ULTRASAT astrophysical observation satellite at the Weizmann Institute of Science in collaboration with CalTech and JPL.

An Expert Evaluator for the European Commission Horizon 2020 Space Technologies R&D program, for the Israeli Innovation Authority as well as the Israel Space Agency.

A Co-founder and CTO of Space-Nest, an Israeli space startup incubator.
Ofer volunteers as a mentor for SpaceIL the Israeli GLXP lunar lander mission.

17 November


Co-founder & CFO
Pekka Laurila is the Chief Financial Officer and co-founder of ICEYE. ICEYE aims to launch and operate a constellation of micro-SAR satellites providing access to timely and reliable Earth observation data. ICEYE is the first company that has successfully miniaturized a SAR satellite, creating a unit that is 100x more cost-efficient than the closest counterpart. With the 18 satellite constellation, ICEYE will offer its partners a set of unprecedented surveillance capabilities, accessing an area of interest faster, more frequently and at lower cost.

As CFO, Laurila has been instrumental in establishing company-wide financial procedures and raising funds for ICEYE, which has now received over $15M in recent capital infusions. As a nordic native from Finland watching the Arctic ice caps melt, Laurila joined forces with Rafal Modrzewski to create synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) microsatellites in hopes of ensuring the sustainability of global warming research.

Prior to co-founding ICEYE, Laurila played an instrumental role in Finland's Aalto University Nanosatellite Program, where he studied as a student of the Engineering and Geoinformation Systems program. Using this engineering and entrepreneurial experience, Laurila helped to co-found a spin-out company of Aalto University, which would later become ICEYE.

16 November


Founder & CEO
Oxford Space Systems
Founded and successfully exited 2 technology business

Barclays Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year (2007)

Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Design Award of the Year (2007)

Green Technology of the Year for India (2009)

17 November


EU Policy Director
Agnieszka Lukaszczyk is a Director for EU Policy at Planet. A Polish/American national, has worked at the European Commission, Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth Unit. She also worked at the Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, Space Policy and Research Unit. Before she joined the Commission, Agnieszka was the Brussels Office Director for the Secure World Foundation. In addition, she is the former Chairperson and the former Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications. Agnieszka also worked at the European Space Policy Institute as a research fellow. Agnieszka serves as the Vice President - Europe for the World Space Week And Sits on the Board Of Directors for the Women in Aerospace-Europe. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Space Security at the Polish Defence Academy. She holds a Master's degree from the Warsaw School of Economics in Management of Space in New Economies and a Master's degree from the American University School of International Service in International Politics plus a Bachelor degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee. She also studied at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium; the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and the World Trade Institute in Berne, Switzerland. She gained professional experience at the Political Section of the Polish Embassy in Washington DC, American Electronics Association in Brussels, European Department of the Polish Senate in Warsaw and the Warsaw Business Journal.

16 November


Co-founder & CEO
Jeffrey has served as the CEO of NanoRacks from 2009 onwards, and more recently, has taken on the role of chairman of the XO Markets board. Jeffrey, along with co-founder Mike Johnson, has steered the growth of NanoRacks from a garage space in Webster, Texas to a storage facility as the first company shop to where NanoRacks is today – a pioneer and now leader in the commercial market for low-Earth orbit utilization. For the future, Jeffrey is increasingly focused on bringing NanoRacks hardware and commercial services to more and more in-space platforms.

As the only American to ever work officially for the Russian space program, his prior experience includes serving as Managing Director of Energia USA, the American arm of RSC Energia. In 1991, he carried over the first commercial contract between NASA and the Soviet Union to use Soyuz as an escape vehicle for Space Station Freedom. Later, Jeffrey represented the Russian space organizations when the basic contracts to realize the International Space Station were negotiated.

As CEO of MirCorp, which leased the Russian space station Mir, he oversaw the first ever (and still only) commercially funded manned mission, of over 70 days, to the Mir space station. His experience developing the business base for Mir, as well as now on the International Space Station, paves the way for XO Markets to build the customer base beyond ISS.

He also co-developed the first fund dedicated to commercial space on Wall Street (Shearson Lehman) and has served as an adviser to numerous companies and governments. The author of three books, his second (Selling Peace) chronicles his time working with the Russian space program. In 2012, Jeffrey was awarded the NASA Exceptional Public Achievement Medal.

16 November


Director, Space Programs
After working a few years as a contractor for the European Space Agency in Italy and Germany on Earth Observation and Interplanetary Science missions, in 2003 Gianaldo moved to Luxembourg to join SES, one of the world’s largest commercial telecom satellite operators, where he worked in different technical and strategic management roles, enriching his professional and personal life with international assignments in the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington D.C., and the northern German city of Bremen. A little over a year ago Gianaldo embraced a new adventure with the OHB group joining its Luxembourg-based affiliate LuxSpace, where as a Director of Space programs, and a staunch advocate of NewSpace, he’s now responsible for the development of the company’s portfolio of space missions and affordable microsatellite products. Gianaldo holds a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University La Sapienza of Rome, Italy, and he’s married with two kids.

17 November


Vice President of Global Engagement
Planetary Resources
Mr. Marquez served as the space policy advisor to two Presidents and has an extensive background in civil and national security space activities of the U.S.

Marquez served as the Director of Space Policy for Presidents Bush and Obama. He was responsible for the development and execution of U.S. national space policy. He also held positions in the acquisition, requirements and policy fields of U.S. national security space programs. Peter graduated from George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute with a master’s degree in Science and Technology Policy.

At Planetary Resources, Mr. Marquez works with the U.S. Government and the international community on domestic and global opportunities that will assist Planetary Resources in achieving its long-term mission.

16 November


Senior Advisor
Ministry of the Economy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Gary L. Martin recently retired from the position Director of Partnerships at NASA Ames. In this position he oversaw new business opportunities for the Center, entrepreneurial partnerships, and facilitates the development of the Center’s long-term strategy.

Martin was with NASA for over 25 years and worked at Langley Research Center, NASA Headquarters and Goddard Space Flight Center before coming to Ames. He has worked primarily in the science mission and human spaceflight areas, usually in program management for advanced technology and strategic planning. In 2002, he was named NASA’s first Space Architect, leading strategic planning for the Agency and providing the analysis that was used to develop the Bush Administration’s ‘Vision for Exploration’. For this work he was awarded NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2005. From 2005-2007 Martin was on a NASA Intergovernmental Personnel Assignment (IPA) as the Director of the Space Studies Program at the International Space University. 

Martin holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering/Astronautical Engineering from George Washington University, and dual Bachelors degrees in Physics and Applied Mathematics from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelors degree in Anthropology from Colorado State University.

16 November


European Space Agency - ESA
Matthias Maurer is ESA’s newest recruit for the Agency’s astronaut corps. From Germany, Matthias was among the 10 finalists in the 2009 selection and is now undergoing basic training at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.

Matthias has a PhD in materials science engineering and more than 10 years of related research and development experience. He joined ESA and the European Astronaut Centre in 2010 as Crew Support and EUROCOM and steadily began to take charge of EAC evolution projects like preparing future space flight operations with new international partners and kicking off new EAC projects to extend its expertise in exploration beyond ISS.

17 November


Co-founder & CEO
Peter Platzer is the Chief Executive Officer of Spire Global, Inc. He cofounded the company in 2012 with a vision to provide satellite-powered data from any location on earth. Platzer is now regarded as one of the pioneers in launching small form factor satellites into space. He has been widely recognized for his visionary leadership and was named a White House Champion of Change in 2013.

Prior to launching Spire, Platzer trained at CERN and the Max Planck Institute before turning to business with the Boston Consulting Group in Germany, Singapore, and Thailand. Platzer joined a quantitative investment management firm out of Harvard Business School. After attending Singularity University’s inaugural Executive Program in 2009, Platzer decided to leave finance to focus on high frequency and high accuracy data in space. He interned at NASA Ames’ Space Portal and in 2012, Platzer graduated with a MSS from the International Space University.

Platzer co-created and launched CareerTeams at Harvard Business School and currently serves as a Career Coach at Harvard Business School. Platzer received an MS in Physics from the Technical University of Vienna and an MBA from Harvard, where he was a Baker scholar.

17 November

17 November


General Partner & COO
RRE Ventures
Will is a General Partner with RRE Ventures. He also serves as the firm's Chief Operating Officer. During his 17 year career as an investor Will has served on the boards of more than 20 companies. He is currently a Director of Breather, BuzzFeed, Paperless Post, Pilot Fiber, Spaceflight, and Spire. Will is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School and the Chairman of the Dockery Farms Foundation, which he founded.

Will holds an MBA from Harvard University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a BA with Honors from Stanford University.

16 November


Founder & CEO
Co-owner and Member of the Board of Directors of the Energy Group, Member of the Board of Business Russia, Member of the board of Directors of the Khabarovsk Territory Development Corporation

Born on 14 September 1986 in St. Petersburg, Russia Education Graduated from the St. Petersburg State University (Russia) Management Department with a degree in International Marketing in 2008. Graduated from Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) Business Department with a Master’s Degree in Strategic Management in 2009 prior to further studies at the London School of Economics and HEC (France). Currently pursuing postgraduate studies at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia)

Beginning in 2006, she worked in the MT Service telecommunication company. In parallel, she developed her own consulting projects in the field of strategic management and crisis management for the Russian and foreign companies. In 2009, Aliya Prokofeva became a member of the Board of Directors, and in 2010, the co-owner, of the Energy Group of Companies. The Energy Group is a unique import-substituting scientific and industrial holding company active in engineering, metallurgy, the pipe industry, and industrial real estate development. During her time at the company, she managed projects to modernize the existing production facility and launch a new drive shaft production line at the Uraltrubmash factory in Chelyabinsk, as well as the development of projects in the field of technologies for processing industrial waste. In 2012, Aliya initiated developments in the field of new energy sources, as well as new types of industrial materials. As a member of the Board of Directors and co-owner of the Energy Group of Companies, Aliya oversees the following business segments: production of components for the aircraft industry, mechanical engineering (the Bogoslovskiy industrial park in the Sverdlovsk Region, the Komsomolsk special economic zone (TOSER) in the Khabarovsk Territory), R&D in the field of additive manufacturing and the development of new materials.

In 2016, Aliya founded the group of companies Galaktika. CG Galaktika is an international corporation of a new type changing the traditional approach to the space industry. This holding binds together different projects such as satellite and rocket engineering, earth observation services, Internet of things technology, 3D-printing, etc. Aliya is engaged in the development and support of research projects in the fields of new materials, new energy sources, energy transmission, and aviation. She is the initiator and leads research in the field of new technologies in energy and power generation and developments in the field of mechanical engineering. She is the author of several scientific works.

16 November


Director of Innovation, Applications and Science
Gilles Rabin is the Director of Innovation, Applications and Science by CNES. Born in 1961, Gilles Rabin is Doctor of Economics and a graduate of the Paris II Assas French Press Institute (IFP). In 2015-2016, he was space and innovation advisor to Thierry Mandon, the French Secretary of State for higher education and research. Prior to this, he was director of a private strategic consultancy for businesses and local authorities, after working as an associate researcher at Grenoble University’s PACTE Territories Laboratory.

Gilles Rabin began his career in 1989, as director of the transport department and deputy director of the local development department at BIPE Conseil (a CDC subsidiary), where he acquired a wealth of expertise in transport matters and worked in land-use planning. In 1996, he became deputy director of Nancy urban planning agency, in charge of the city’s economic development and the Nancy-Brabois technopole.

Between 1999 and 2008, Gilles Rabin was CEO of Essonne development board, where he worked to promote businesses in collaboration with several university laboratories e.g. Génopole, Supélec, INT, Polytechnic, and signed a partnership with the MIT. He then went on to join Greater Lyon city council in 2008 where, as executive director for economic development and land policy, he dedicated himself to developing business and innovation and to projects that enhanced the attractiveness of the region.

From 2012 to 2014, he was advisor to the French minister for the economy, productivity increase and digital affairs, with particular responsibility for decentralization, innovation, middle-market companies and business creation, plus the health and transport sectors.

16 November


Moon Village Association
Giuseppe Reibaldi is a Senior Space Policy Adviser. Apart from being President of the MVA he also acts as the Executive Secretary of the “The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group” which started under his initiative in 2015. Moreover, he is, since 2013, the Director of Human Spaceflight at the International Academy ofAstronautics. For 35 years (1977-2012) he worked for the European Space Agency covering different functions and fields. Reibaldi has introduced Space Policy in the Italian Universities in the 90s and he teaches in Turin for the 2017/2018 academic year. He is the author of more than 80 publications, as well a book about the International Space Station Utilization, translated in Italian, English and Greek.

16 November

16 November


LeoSat Enterprises
Mark Rigolle joined LeoSat as CEO in September 2015. He has over 22 years of experience in the telecom and satellite sectors. Between 2004 and 2009 he served as Chief Financial Officer of SES. He was then appointed CEO of O3b Networks, successfully raising USD 1.2B to fund the launch of a MEO constellation of satellites that provide affordable trunking and mobile backhaul capacity in developing countries. In addition, he has acted as advisor to satellite operators and private equity funds, as well as being a co-founder of Kacific, a promising satellite-broadband- to-the- home start- up. Mark has held various positions in Finance and Business Development at Belgacom and ABN AMRO. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Leuven, Belgium.

17 November


Managing Director
Thorsten Rudolph is the founder and Managing Director of AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen. AZO is an international networking and branding company for space-related innovation competitions with more than 15,000 participants, over 200 industrial & public - and 400 international stakeholders. AZO has been supporting entrepreneurship with 128 company foundations and the creation of 1,600 new jobs in Bavaria with a turnover of EUR 140 Mio in 2016/2017. Additionally, AZO runs a very successful business angel network which invested more than EUR 40 Mio in 2016.

With 22 years’ experience in the space sector, Thorsten is a high professional in moving innovations from scouting and discovery to commercialisation through acceleration, incubation and matchmaking.

Thorsten started his career at the German Aerospace Center DLR being responsible to build up and operate the Technology Transfer Office Oberpfaffenhofen. Under his leadership the first European business incubator for satellite navigation and earth observation was established. Since 2004 this incubator is managed by AZO which Thorsten established that same year.

Thorsten initiated AZO to coordinate Europe’s largest innovation competitions “Masters” series: The ESNC European Satellite Navigation Competition (Satellite Navigation), the Copernicus Masters (Earth observation), the INNOspace Masters (New Space Economy), and the Space Exploration Masters (LEO, Moon, Mars and beyond). Currently, one third of today’s 500 startup´ s within the ESA Business Incubation Centre network derives from these networks.

Thorsten has conducted several studies for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) related to the Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS). He was involved in various GNSS-specific EU projects (e.g. ERA Star, GAINS, GEPAS, Seamless Cities) and responsible for the creation of the first exhibition platform for satellite navigation. This took place from 2004-2007 at SYSTEMS – one of the largest high-tech trade fairs - with 100 exhibitors.

He holds a Mechanical Aerospace Engineering Master degree from the TU Munich.

16 November

17 November


President & CEO
Born on 26 September 1963, Mr Karim Michel Sabbagh joined the SES Executive Committee in September 2013 and was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer effective 3 April 2014. He is Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Board of SES ASTRA. He also serves on the Board of YahLive. He is Vice Chairman of FEDIL (Business Federation of Luxembourg). Mr Sabbagh served on the Board of SES from 2011 until 2013 and was a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of SES for the same period. Prior to joining SES, he was a Senior Partner and global practice leader for communications, media & technology at Booz & Company. Mr Sabbagh is a visiting professor in technology and innovation management and member of the Academic Council for the School of International Management at École des Ponts Paris Tech in France. He holds a Doctorate in international business management from the International School of Management (Paris). He also holds an MBA and BBA with Distinction from the American University in Beirut.

Mr Sabbagh is a Canadian and Lebanese national.

16 November


Head of Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office
Mr Frank M. Salzgeber is the Head of the Technology Transfer Programme Office at the European Space Agency (ESA).
Prior this post he was the Head of Commercial Development in the European Astronaut Department of the Directorate of Human Spaceflight Microgravity and Exploration at the European Space Agency.

Prior to joining ESA, Frank held the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO and CFO) at an IT start-up headquartered in Munich, Germany, between 2000 and 2003, which he merged with CANCOM SA.
Frank also spent seven years at Apple Computer (1993 – 2000) initially as an account manager and then as a sales manager, covering Central Europe and being positioned in the US and Czech Republic.

Being genuinely passionate about the importance of human space flight and the European Space Programme, Frank’s believes that ‘a society that stops exploring stops progressing’.

Frank is a member of the advisory board of the Triangle Venture Capital Group, the boards of directors of European Business Network (EBN) and was founding chairman of the EIROforum (CERN, EFDA-JET, EMBL, ESA, ESO, ESRF, European XFEL and ILL) working group on Innovation management and knowledge /technology transfer.

Frank holds a degree in Industrial Engineering, is married, has two sons and lives in the Netherlands and Bavaria.

17 November


Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of the Economy, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Born on 29 January 1971, Étienne Schneider joined the government in February 2012 as Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade. Following the legislative elections in October 2013, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy, Minister of Internal Security and Minister of Defence.

Before taking up ministerial positions, he was senior government advisor to the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade, responsible for the Directorates of Economic Development, Infrastructures and Energy. He assumed also responsibility for the Directorate of Industry and Businesses. Upon proposal of the government and in light of his roles within the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade, Étienne Schneider was a member of the executive board of several companies in the energy sector.

Étienne Schneider pursued higher education studies at the Institut catholique des hautes études commerciales (ICHEC) in Brussels and at Greenwich University in London, where he was awarded a degree in commercial and financial sciences in 1995.

16 November


Arendt & Medernach
Laurent Schummer is a Partner and a member of the Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, the Private Equity & Real Estate and the Capital Markets practices of Arendt & Medernach.

In addition to general company law, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and group restructuring matters, Laurent also handles takeover, equity offering and listing matters.

He has been a member of the Luxembourg Bar since May 1998.
Laurent is a standing member of the Mergers and Acquisition commission of the Union Internationale des Avocats. He is a lecturer in corporate law at the University of Luxembourg.

Prior to joining Arendt & Medernach, he was a partner at Linklaters LLP, Luxembourg which he joined in 1997.

Laurent Schummer holds a Master's degree in law from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) as well as a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of Chicago Law School (U.S.A.).

Languages: English, French, German and Luxembourgish.

16 November


Director of Space Operations
Kam Shahid is the Director of Space Operations at Planet who has the privilege of working with some of the most talented engineers in the world to operate the largest fleet of private satellites in history. Kam manages the extensive array of satellites and ground station network needed to image the entire Earth daily.

Kam believes that the development of space technology is critical for sustainable development on Earth.

Prior to Planet, Kam held a post-doctoral position at Technion, Israel Institute Technology where he conducted research in disaggregated satellite systems and formation flying. Kam also worked on FADEC aircraft engine control systems at Pratt and Whitney in Canada.
Kam holds a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Ryerson University.

17 November


President & COO
As President and COO of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell is responsible for day-to-day operations and for managing all customer and strategic relations. She joined SpaceX in 2002 as Vice President of Business Development and built the Falcon vehicle family manifest to more than 70 launches, representing more than $10 billion in business. Shotwell is a member of the SpaceX Board of Directors.

Prior to joining SpaceX, Shotwell spent more than 10 years at the Aerospace Corporation, holding positions in Space Systems Engineering & Technology and Project Management. Shotwell was subsequently recruited to be Director of Microcosm’s Space Systems Division, managing space system technologies, serving on the executive committee and directing corporate business development.

In 2014, Shotwell was appointed to the United States Export Import Bank's Advisory Committee and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council. Shotwell has been awarded the World Technology Award for Individual Achievement in Space, has been inducted into the Women In Technology International Hall of Fame and was elected to the honorable grade of Fellow with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

SpaceX supports science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs locally as well as national engineering programs and competitions. Shotwell has helped raise over $1.4 million for STEM education programs reaching thousands of students nationwide.

Shotwell received, with honors, her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, and serves as both a University Trustee and a member of the Advisory Council for Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering. She has authored dozens of papers on a variety of space related subjects.

16 November


Executive Director
Secure World Foundation

16 November


Founder & CEO
Interstellar Ventures

16 November

Richard Sypniewski, Jr.

Senior Business Development Engineer


Senior Consultant
Jillian Taylor is a Senior Consultant with Deloitte supporting the cyber risk practice and the development of Deloitte’s market entry into the space industry. Prior to Deloitte, Ms. Taylor was a research analyst with The Tauri Group (now Bryce Space and Technology), where she identified new markets for commercial space ventures, analyzed space industry-wide technology and business trends, and supported NASA HQ’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer as an on-site consultant. At NASA she was a key contributor to their performance management and budgeting processes, including the production of the 2017 Volume of Integrated Performance, and supported the 2017 Presidential Transition efforts.

Outside of work, Ms. Taylor has written and presented a white paper on VC investment in space at SciTech2016, spoken on the “New Space Economy” at SEDS SpaceVision2016, organized the SGx track at Satellite 2017 as a member of the Space Generation Advisory Council, and currently volunteers with the Federation of Galaxy Explorers. Ms. Taylor received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, with a focus on Global Security from the University of Rochester and has additional expertise in global security; geopolitical conflicts; and weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons.

17 November


For the last 10 years John Thornton has grown Astrobotic's business of delivering affordable space robotics technology and planetary missions by attracting technology contracts, equity investment, and payload customers. Through his efforts Astrobotic now leads the world in lunar payload sales and market development. Thornton leads a team of passionate robotics and space engineers in the development of Peregrine and space robotics technologies. Previously at Carnegie Mellon, Thornton led the build of Scarab, a NASA concept robot for lunar drilling, and the first robot to carry a prototype of NASA's ISRU payload.

16 November


Managing Director
Blue Abyss
After spending eight years in the British Army, John left to join a City-based Management Consultancy. There he worked on leadership and management development programmes for some of the world's Fortune 100 companies including: American Express; Oracle; and British American Tobacco. A subsequent move to IBM, saw him heading up the department he only joined some 18 months earlier. John was subsequently head hunted to GE Capital where he looked after a FTSE 100 client followed by rapid promotion through regional sales management to General Manager-level heading up the eBusiness initiative within the company. John has experience of two previous start-ups including a consultancy business, which influenced IBM to subsequently transform their own approach to eBusiness selling, and heading up a company which had developed an incredibly thin insulation material. John is a qualified Six Sigma Black Belt practitioner and believes passionately about connecting our marine evolutionary heritage and future space exploration.

17 November


Director General
Johann-Dietrich ‘Jan’ Woerner became the ESA Director General on 1 July 2015. Previously, from March 2007 to June 2015, he served as Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Jan Woerner was born in Kassel, Germany, in 1954. He studied civil engineering at the Technical University (TU) Berlin and TU Darmstadt, from where he graduated in 1985. Before being elected as President of TU Darmstadt in 1995, he held the position of Dean of the newly established Civil Engineering Faculty. Jan Woerner headed the university from 1995 to 2007 and succeeded in making it the first autonomous university of the Federal Republic of Germany. Before joining ESA as Director General, Jan Woerner was head of the German delegation to ESA from 2007 to 2015 and served as Chairman of the ESA Council from 2012 to 2014.

16 November

16 November


Breakthrough Prize Foundation
Simon Peter “Pete” Worden, (Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret., PhD) is the Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and Executive Director of the foundation’s ‘Breakthrough Initiatives’. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Astronomy for the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, Dr. Worden was Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, USA until his retirement on March 31, 2015. He has held several positions in the United States Air Force and was research professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. He is a recognized expert on space and science issues – both civil and military, and has been a leader in building partnerships between governments and the private sector internationally.

Dr. Worden has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific papers in astrophysics space sciences, and strategic studies. He served as a scientific co-investigator for three NASA space science missions – most recently the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph launched in 2013 to study the Sun. He received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for the 1994 Clementine Mission to the moon. Dr. Worden was named the 2009 Federal Laboratory Consortium Laboratory Director of the Year and is the recipient of the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Innovator’s Award.

On July 20, 2015 at the Royal Society in London, UK, Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking launched the Breakthrough Initiatives. At the press conference Pete Worden was introduced as the Chairman for the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. In this capacity he leads the Breakthrough Initiatives.

16 November