United, We Can Accomplish More!

Members of AuroraSpace consortium at Esrange space center, Kiruna,

In the June issue of the Mega magazine published in Ostrobothnia, Finland, there was an article about the cross-border AuroraSpace project funded by the EU Interreg Aurora program. The article, which told about the project and the meeting of the consortium in Kiruna, Sweden, was written in Finnish and Swedish, but here is the English translation of the article. The group photo was taken in Esrange, the Swedish Space Center.

Johanna B Roos explaining about the Swedish RIT project to the AuroraSpace consortium members.

Johanna B Roos explaning the RIT project and its outcome to the AuroraSpace project consortium at the Kiruna Space Campus.

Together we can achieve more

The AuroraSpace project, which started at the end of last year, boosts space-data-related business and strengthens the cross-border space innovation ecosystem in the area of ​​northern Finland, Sweden and Norway. The project consortium led by the University of Vaasa, includes universities and research institutes from these three Nordic countries. The AuroraSpace project receives funding from the EU Interreg Aurora program

The three-year AuroraSpace project – officially called “Boosting Space Business – the Aurora Region Space Economy Ecosystem” – is in a way a continuation of the KvarkenSpaceEco project, the first space project led by the University of Vaasa, which was implemented together with Finnish and Swedish partners. AuroraSpace’s goals and work packages are partly based on the results of the previous project, and cross-border cooperation was also found to be functional already in KvarkenSpaceEco.

– All three Nordic countries have slightly different space expertise and their space strategies emphasize different things, so together we can achieve more, says the responsible leader of the AuroraSpace project, professor Heidi Kuusniemi from the University of Vaasa.

Members of the consortium listening to the presentation of Esrange.

Focusing on business and education

AuroraSpace’s goal is to enhance the growth of space-related business and strengthen the emergence of a space innovation ecosystem in the northernmost parts of Europe.

– We map already existing companies operating in the space sector in Finland, Sweden, and Norway, and aim to promote cooperation between them. We also organize joint development workshops and guide startup companies to business incubator activities, says Arto Ojala, professor of international business at the University of Vaasa.

Feedback from the business community about the poor availability of space education has spawned a work package for the project, which makes the space education offered in these three countries visible and increases the cooperation of space researchers and teachers in the field with other universities and research institutes. In the same context, the awareness of secondary school students is also raised about the available space educations.

– We help people find the space education they need, but at the same time we also develop the education offered by the members of the project consortium, says Kuusniemi.

All the material collected during the project, such as trainings and the company database, are available even after the project on the auroraspace.eu portal.

Members of the AuroraSpace consortium at the Kiruna Space Campus.

Building stronger collaboration through getting to know each other

The goal of the project is also to create genuine and lively cooperation across national borders in the space sector. This applies to project partners, researchers and teachers in the field, as well as companies in the field. Although Finland, Sweden and Norway are well represented in the European space field, cooperation can increase the importance of the Nordic space business even further.

Cooperation is often strengthened if there is an opportunity to personally get to know the partners and their activities. This was also stated by the delegation of the AuroraSpace consortium at the beginning of May in Kiruna, Sweden, where we got to know the Esrange space center and the space campus of the Luleå University of Technology, where the Swedish Space Physics Institute IRF also operates.

Eating together is a good way to bond.