Hero’s Journey – European Space Agency Business Incubation Tour (ESA BIC)


What do you value? And what would you pay to make it happen?

The European Space Agency Business Incubation Tour – took an interesting extension and it was what I had wanted to call for – A Hero’s Tour.

Some of you know that a Hero’s Journey, a term I learnt at Singularity University, is when an ordinary individual goes on an extraordinary journey. They go on a journey to discover themselves and along the way they may find a pot of gold, they may find the Master they were seeking for all this time, or they may discover their magic along the way – whatever outcome the individual desired, it somehow changes their whole life. That is the purpose of the ESA BIC Tour. To be more precise, this ESA BIC tour is like swimming into the depths of an ocean, the deepest corners like going to the Mariana Trench where no more than 2 individuals have been – less than going to space!!

And discover, explore and find new possibilities. In the context of NewSpace and startups it is about looking at investment opportunities for the investor and investee, meeting newspace startups, key stakeholders and the crowd.


Tell me something? What did you discover on this journey.

Well, I could say we went to visit Toulouse, and went to Aerospace Valley. We met and visited the ESA BIC in Toulouse and even went on an Airbus Tour. That is amazing, though not extraordinary.

How about going to attend the Space Forum in Luxembourg and meeting the key stakeholders discussing the latest in space, blockchain in space, financing. It’s the same. The same, with more but the same.

How about the new Luxembourg Space Agency?

How about the new Luxembourg space fund?


Yes, it is exciting, and this could not be a better time to enter NewSpace though it is not the pot of gold in the Hero’s Journey.

How about attending DES2019? Speaking about living on the Moon? Inspiring fellow tech entrepreneurs? That was closer. Some came to me about the courses they are developing about space, others spoke of the underground space city they were thinking of developing. Closer.

How about Stockholm? What did you find there?

The Hero’s Journey was coming to an end and I discovered more truths than I could have imagined before I set out. It was not about being a hero, and neither was it about slaying the dragon to prove a point or showing how strong one is. Rather it is about introspection.

It is the quiet moment, before you have a serious meeting with an investor/entrepreneur. A moment with one self, to decide what to do.

It is more like being Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail, believing that there is a path when you cannot see with your eyes, yet somehow there is.

It’s about using your 6th senses and grasping the 4th- 6th Dimensions you never explored.

The Hero’s journey I discovered is not walking the same path that others have had, but rather creating your own. There is no right or wrong, better or worst.

Rather it is understanding that when there is no path, what a wonderful opportunity it is to carve and create our own.

When we see no boundaries, the limitless of the sky and actual possibilities – creativity gets started and something sparks a fire – a passion so small you can barely notice. Yet this is the bearing of a fruit, a seed of idea.

I finally watched the film Contact, and felt the same way as the protagonist in the film. If only others could see how beautiful this Universe is. If only this could be shared, understood and accepted. The ESA BIC tour is something like that.


Those that started may knew nothing about space, but after the 3 weeks, I hope like in the Matrix or a Jedi in training got something incredible out of it. It may well be intangible. Like a dragon that discovers that they had wings all along. Yet during the journey, we had been forced to fly high, and low to explore the canvas, the mountains and landscape that was before us.

It’s like training a muscle you never realised you had. Using an ear, eye or sense of smell in ways never imagined. For those that were unable to join, the question is there, what did I miss?


Sometimes, we only see certain things once in our life time. For others who are more fortunate, we are able to experience wonderful things many times. Think of the red blood moon or witnessing the dark blue moons. These are nothing short of miracles for the time and place that we are in.

Law of attraction states that we attract what we are vibrating. This ESA BIC Tour – A Hero’s Journey exceeded my own expectations as I never thought I could see so much, experience so much and understand so much.

Do you think Neal in the Matrix, when he downloads all this information, suddenly says, ‘Wait a moment, I think this is too much?’ No, rather the opposite is true. He realises that he has far more greater capacity than what people and he himself thought he had. So instead, like neuroplasticity, his brain cells expand, his memory likewise and like a sponge absorbs all this new information, skill and understanding.


This ESA BIC Tour would not be possible without the support and assistance from a number of key players. With much heartfelt thanks I would like to thank Frank Salzberger, Kaznunao Sato, Colleagues from ESA BIC in Darmstadt, Harwell, Toulouse, stakeholders from Bochum, Luxembourg, Spain and Stockholm.

We don’t know what kind of impact doing something like this has. Though what I am sure, is it is what we make of it. We are entering a terribly exciting period in NewSpace and it is open for everyone who has a dream, goal or ambition to do it.

May you have a safe and prosperous journey, as you embark on YOUR Hero’s Journey.


Written by Helen Tung

Art Asteroid Day business development communications Disaster Management drones Earth Entrepreneurship International Mars Moon newspace ecosystem smallsats Space Space Applications space food space mapping UN UNOOSA

Environment and space


Human actions have had an indisputable impact on the Earth’s natural environment. Human activities have contributed to deforestation, desertification, soil degradation, depletion of the ozone layer and climate change.

Space-based technologies, such as remotely sensed data, have enhanced scientific understanding of water cycles, air quality, forests and other aspects of the natural environment. These surveying and monitoring tools provide valuable information on the state of ecosystems, which offers objective support for positive environmental action, including conservation and sustainable resource management.





When one looks through the role of space at UNOOSA’s database, one can see the diversity and range of impact that space has on the environment.

Examples include:


source: UNOOSA

Space for Agriculture Development and Food Security

Report on the United Nations/Germany International Conference on Earth Observation: global solutions for thechallenges of sustainable development in societies at risk
Space-based information and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
Space Technologies for Monitoring and Protecting Biodiversity and Ecosystems
A Proposed New Thematic Priority for the United Nations Programme on Space Applications
The United Nations Office of Outer Space does so much to promote space and space applications, yet often it may be easy to overlook the role of UNOOSA purely because the issues they are addressing are so immense.

One of the highlights of the space calender to celebrate and champion the successes include:

Yuri’s Night

Yuri’s Night is the World Space Party. We hope to see you dream, explore, and celebrate with us at the hundreds of YN events held around the world each April.

“Circling the Earth in my orbital spaceship I marveled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty — not destroy it!”
Yuri Gagarin, 1st human in space. 1.jpg


International Day of Human Space Flight

The International Day of Human Space Flight is the annual celebration, held on April 12, of the anniversary of the first human space flight by Yuri Gagarin. It was proclaimed at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly on April 7, 2011, a few days before the 50th anniversary of the flight.


source: 1.jpg

Asteroid Day

Asteroid Day is a UN-sanctioned global awareness campaign. This year thousands of self-organized events were hosted around the world. 48 hours of content and commentary from around the world were hosted by Prof. Brian Cox. He was joined by Astronauts, Experts, and Celebrities.

sources: Asteroid Day

World Space Week

World Space Week, October 4-10 annually, is the largest space event on Earth. More than 5,000 events in over 80 countries celebrated the theme “Space Unites the World” in 2018.  The 2019 theme is “The Moon:  Gateway to the Stars.”

“The General Assembly declares 4 to 10 October World Space Week to celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition”

UN General Assembly resolution, 6 December 1999

source: World Space Week


Humanity could do so much more by joining forces and putting our minds, technology and entrepreneurship in tackling the world’s greatest challenges.


What do you think of the role of space applications?

What challenges can space applications solve?

What makes a successful NewSpace entrepreneur?

Tweet, like, comment @newspace2060

#newspace2060 @EUJapanCentre




business development Disaster Management Earth Entrepreneurship Funding GNSS International Space Space Applications space traffic management Startups UN

United Nations/Fiji Workshop on the Applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)

The United Nations/Fiji Workshop on the Applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) will be held over 24-28 June 2019.

The workshop aims to address the use of GNSS for various applications that can provide sustainable social and economic benefits, particularly for developing countries.  The workshop is aimed at exploring both practical applications and scientific explorations with focus on cooperative efforts and international partners including capacity-building, training and research.

Thematic Sessions

Session 1: Current and Planned GNSS and Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems

  • Programme updates on GNSS and satellite-based augmentation systems: Global Positioning System (GPS) and Wide-Area Augmentation System (WAAS), GLObal NAvigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and System of Differential Correction and Monitoring (SDCM), European Satellite Navigation System (GALILEO) and the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), Indian Regional Navigation System (IRNSS) and GPS Aided Geo-Augmented Navigation (GAGAN), Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS).

Session 2: GNSS-based applications focusing on, but not limited to

  • Advances and performance benefits due to multi-sensor integration of GNSS applications in surveying and geodesy;
  • The use of GNSS for aviation, including integration of satellite navigation technology into air traffic management and airport surface navigation and guidance;
  • The use of navigation and timing systems for road, rail and engineering applications, including vehicle guidance, geographic information system (GIS) mapping, and precision farming;
  • Location Based Services: GNSS-enabled mobile phones and services, including the early warning in a hazard area;
  • Commercial applications of GNSS;
  • The use of GNSS signals for navigation and positioning of in-orbit space operations, particularly from low-Earth orbit to cis-Lunar.

Session 3: GNSS spectrum protection and interference detection and mitigation

  • ICG activities and its role in spectrum protection and interference detection and mitigation.

Session 4: Natural hazards: GNSS for disaster management

  • Utilization of GNSS in the areas of disaster risk reduction and management

Session 5: GNSS Reference Frames/Systems and Reference Station Networks

  • Programme updates on regional and national reference frames/systems and perspectives for a regional cooperative mechanism;
  • International GNSS Service (IGS), the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) and other initiatives, Continusly Operating Reference Stations (CORS) network and multi-GNSS environment;

Session 6: Capacity-building, training and education in the field of GNSS

  • GNSS education opportunities at different levels/needs;
  • The strengthening of a specialized master’s programmes for long-term professional education and support to PhD training and networking in GNSS;
  • GNSS education tools/open source software related to GNSS.

Objectives and Expected Outcomes

The specific objectives of the workshop will be to:

  1. introduce GNSS and its applications to transport and communications, aviation, surveying, mapping and Earth science, management of natural resources, the environment and disasters, precision agriculture, high precision mobile application, as well as space weather effects on GNSS and dual-frequency resources;
  2. promote greater exchange of actual experiences with specific applications;
  3. encourage greater cooperation in developing partnerships and GNSS networks, in the framework of the regional reference frames;
  4. define recommendations and findings to be forwarded as a contribution to ICG and a “Space2030″agenda, particularly, in forging partnerships to strengthen and deliver capacity-building in the use and applications of space science and technology.

The expected outcomes of the workshop are:

  1. recommendations and findings on discussed topics to be adopted by the workshop participants;
  2. preliminary agreement of cooperation between countries in the region and CORS networks;
  3. action plan addressing identified issues/concerns.

Additionally, building on past coordination and capacity-building activities, the current workshop could consider, inter alia, the following issues for recommendations:

  • Better define pilot projects to strengthen collaboration at regional level;
  • The creation of regional networks of GNSS-related institutions, including the regional centres for space science and technology education affiliated to the United Nations;
  • Propose actions to progress in the establishment of common and uniform continental reference coordinates frames and systems;
  • Promote actions for the development of modernized national horizontal reference systems, including deformation models and vertical datums based on accurate local geoid models;
  • Propose means to build capacity in regional geodetic project with a focus on GNSS data processing and the use of open geodetic software in cooperation with entities such as the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and the International Association of Geodesy (IAG).





business development Disaster Management drones International NewSpace newspace ecosystem Space Space Applications Startups


In late November 2018 the European Commission, European and national authorities together with the industry adopted the Amsterdam declaration to advance safe, secure and green drone operations in Europe. The declaration focuses on smart mobility solutions that integrate aviation in wider transport policies.  These solutions should also support automated drone operations over longer distances. The Commission and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency reiterated their readiness to help Member States to implement the drone regulation.

Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport said, “I am delighted to see that smart mobility solutions are becoming reality. All partners are on board to ensure safe, secure, green and quiet drone operations. Our U-space system will connect all drones flying in the air, which in turn makes them visible for authorities and citizens. The EU’s Demonstrator Network will be instrumental in the development process.”

Technologies are maturing fast. Industry is showing today that drone taxis no longer are a far-fetched future – they are ready for entry into service in a couple of years. The meeting concluded that regulators must continue to coordinate their efforts to allow drone services and smart mobility solutions. Expectations for the industry are to develop product standards as a priority. This smooth coordination – also through the recently launched EU U-space Demonstrator Network.

The Amsterdam Declaration calls all stakeholders to work in parallel and with maximum cooperation on the following:

  1. Supporting cities in their efforts to provide a fertile ground for smart mobility solutions involving drones;
  2. Actions should focus on achieving a strong drone services market;
  3. Regulators should timely deliver the U-space regulatory framework that is indispensable for highly automated drone flights over longer distances;
  4. Societal concerns and local needs should always be at the forefront of all actions;
  5. Drone and U-space technologies should evolve further by driving and prioritizing R&D drone projects.

The European Union is now competent to regulate drones regardless of mass. The Commission is in the final stages of its consultations with Member States on technical drone rules and their adoption is foreseen in the first trimester of 2019. The EU U-space Demonstrator Network allows the sharing of knowledge on how to keep drone operations safe, secure and green.

Background information

In December 2015, the Commission proposed to create an EU-wide framework for drones as part of its Aviation Strategy. This framework became reality with the entry into force of the new EASA Basic Regulation which allows the establishment of technical rules and standards for drones and drone operations.

European Network of U-space Demonstrators

Already today drone and U-space projects deliver concrete results on how to fly drones safely and how the developing U-space system can become more reliably robust. Yet these U-space projects are only sustainable and will only attract additional investment if the found solutions are compatible with the European framework. That is why the Commission has taken the initiative to establish a European Network of U-space Demonstrators to support these projects. The support cell to the network bundling the regulatory and safety competence consists of representatives of the European Aviation Safety Agency, the R&D management expertise of the SESAR Joint Undertaking and the technical and operational air traffic management expertise of EUROCONTROL.

 The objective is to:

  • de-risk implementations, by reducing “first-time” errors and uncertainties and sharing “lessons learned”, notably for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) or automated applications;
  • accelerate the lead-time to market for novel services and solutions, notably by facilitating the mobilisation of the relevant public and private parties that are pivotal in enabling and authorising the deployment of such solutions into the marketplace;
  • provide a platform for those regulators and other public authorities – in particular safety authorities and local authorities – which are responsible for handling early implementations, to jointly acquire the capabilities and develop the due processes and guidance that are key to realising such implementations;
  • reduce red tape by streamlining regulatory and administrative hurdles across borders, pushing for as much harmonisation as possible.

The SESAR Joint Undertaking has awarded funding to another six demonstrators which aim to show the readiness of U-space services to manage a broad range of drone operations and related services, and their interaction with manned aviation.

#newspace2060 @EUJapanCentre




Sources: European Network of U-space Demonstrators



Art Avant garde Blockchain business development communications Culture Design Fashion International IoT Japan Mars Moon NewSpace newspace ecosystem smallsats Space Space Applications Space debris

Avant garde and space

Researching on this subject in all senses makes me think that it is unlikely to give it the due weight and credit that it deserves.

There is an acute awareness that I am venturing into unknown and even dangerous waters in this blog- avant garde fashion. For those following my writings on NewSpace it all started with the obvious. Space, space technologies and space applications.

But perhaps unbeknownst to others this research on EU-Japan NewSpace has forced me to confront the fact that the size of the market is too small, too young and certainly too uncertain to truly hold the fort of ensuring a NewSpace ecosystem.

Alas, I venture out into the world of arts, theatre, movies and yes fashion to find my answers and there are plenty. When we look at fashion, specifically avant garde you see the influences, shapes, shades and sizes that have most likely influenced the likes of Star Wars, Star Trek and graced the catwalk of a thousand fashion shows.

To no surprise, fashion has influenced our perception of space- its’ attractiveness, viability, sensibility and wearability. The latter is probably too much to ask for save for if you are part of the Harajuku scene.

Nevertheless, sports wear, military naval suits all symbolise the notion of ‘Captain’ – by the collar, curve, stiffness and colour.

To what extent and how is a more difficult question to ask. A space suit, like a uniform has functional and thematic purposes. Function in the basic sense of keeping the person inside it alive, warm and feeling secure. Thematic in the sense of looking and even feeling good.

It made me realise of the NewSpace startups focusing on space suits, the ones I am aware and possibly need a makeover lack the umpf of a fashionista.

They may treat the design like an engineer, with it’s rigor testing, stressing the materials to no end and even radiation defiant- however, there is little style to be spoken of, potential buyers do not look twice and the word sales does not occur more than once in a 10 page proposal.

My point? Clothing is an essential part of our lives, not least even Maslow attributes it to ultimately reaching our optimal potential. Yet, it is an art as much as a science and avant garde fashion could be a potential way of reaching the masses in terms of NewSpace. Let me explain.

Do you like the idea of 3D printed shorts? Wearables like your Apple watch? How about booster shoes to get you moving faster? Are we going back to the Jetsons?

Absolutely. Why, it was so obvious, yet it took me months to get here. One proposition is space applications is likely to succeed if everyone sees a need and uses it. Yes, I am talking about the mass consumer market and not exclusive to B2B market only.

With space inspired clothing that is adorned on models, celebrities and even your best friend it makes space visible and credible.

Furthermore, when we connect it with the latest gadgets and optimise it’s functional form, that would quite simply also be used in space and earth, the human population would enter this sphere seemlessly, or be it acceptance of it.

Try before buy- that is what I am alurring to.

I am currently inspired by fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto and there is good reason. He sends the signal of anti-fashion, and would openly admit so. His clothing are functional and whilst you may wish to look closer there is colour and distinct authenticity in his style.

Whilst the first spacefarers are not going to start with a fashion show, they may well consider one. Was it Louis Vuitton and the drones flying across the catwork exhibiting their bags or was it Gucci?

My point is, if fashion can outrage us, wow us by their music, lights and aspirations then why not partner with them to also exhibit space applications for the public.

Trying to convince someone that a receiver to your aspired satellite with a signal is not sexy.

However, getting Gackt to the Moon show casting his latest music and wearing his favourite T-Shirt and trousters is. The marketer in me is coming out and it is in search of a NewSpace ecosystem.

What are your thoughts on fashion, space and space applications?

What makes a successful NewSpace startup?

Amazon Fashion week is happening in March and I will be going to get inspiration for space.


#newspace2060 @EUJapanCentre