living in our universe

Space for Inspiration is an international conference organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) for everyone curious about space exploration and why it matters. The second edition focuses on how space can be a powerful instrument for positive change – and new businesses – on planet Earth.

This can’t miss event is a crossroads of disciplines and solutions ‘made in space’. Ideas range from automation, artificial intelligence, smart materials, virtual reality and innovative business models.



what’s in it for you

from international space exploration leaders about achievements and future plans
technologists, visionaries and problem solvers
Get inspired
by tackling society’s challenges and sharing achievements
with space and non-space actors
to and benefit from disruptive ideas
European exploration challenges
Bring up
solutions for worldwide socio-economic and environmental challenge


Sarah Cruddas
Space Journalist, Broadcaster and Author. She has an academic background in astrophysics and is also a director at Space for Humanity, a non-profit dedicated at democratising access to space. She speaks internationally about the commercial space industry and space investment.
Johann-Dietrich Wörner
ESA Director General. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Space 4.0 represents the evolution of the space sector into a new era, characterised by a new playing field. The Moon Village is a part of ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Wörner’s Space 4.0 concept, a new epoch in the space sector where space exploration is no longer exclusive to the public sector but open to private organizations as well.
David Parker
Director of Human and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency. “Exploration is much more than only science. It’s the ultimate proving ground for many technologies – efficient energy production, robotics, life support systems and resource utilisation just to name a few. Space exploration is not about robots versus humans. It’s about a partnership of humans and robots”.
Inma Martinez
Venture Partner at Deep Science Ventures, the UK’s first venture-builder for science-driven companies and an industry recognised A.I. and Data Scientist for having pioneered mobile personalisation services and other disruptive digital technologies. Fortune and TIME have defined Inma as one of the best European talents in human digital behaviour and FastCompany has labelled her a “firestarter” for her cutting edge work in innovation for the last 20 years.
Francesco Sauro
Geologist, speleologist, explorer. Winner of the Rolex Award for Enterprise 2014. Member of “La Venta Esplorazioni Geografiche” association and part of its council since 2009.With nearly twenty years of caving experience, Sauro has participated in research in many cave systems all over the world. He leads also a caves training program for European astronauts.
Ray Jayawardhana
He investigates the origins and diversity of planetary systems and the prospects for life in the universe, using many of the world’s largest telescopes. A prolific researcher with more than 120 scientific papers to his credit, his discoveries have garnered widespread attention. Ray is also an award-winning writer and author of popular books.

our partners


space for the non-space

Exploration is a combination of curiosity and opportunity. As innovation and commercial ideas emerge, the new space opens up to a broader community. The European Space Agency is already forging partnerships with the non-space sector.

The programme is geared towards stimulating new ideas and inspire action. Disruptive ideas can connect space and non-space areas with new approaches, solutions and services.

why attend

To participate in interactive sessions about breakthrough technologies. To get in touch with business leaders and pioneering thinkers. To unlock the business potential within international partnerships. To present your ideas to diversified and inter-generational audiences. To build up synergies and sustainable innovation.

who will be there

Space for Inspiration is a unique opportunity to meet bright problem-solvers, tech industry visionaries, researchers, policy makers, high management and investors willing to advance space exploration.

Feeling interested? Replay the talks from the first edition held at the London Science Museum on 14-15 September 2016.

call for ideas

We call them DIGITSDisruptive Ideas Growing Innovation Towards Sustainability. And we want to hear your story. Selected ideas will have an opportunity to participate in Space for Inspiration as part of a:





You can choose one or more of the following topics:

Disruptive for exploration
Revamp exploration scenarios by proposing disruptive technologies, mission concepts and operations
Disruptive for Earth and society
Launch your idea to tackle sustainable development of our planet and help us solve the grand challenges
Disruptive for business and transformation
Present your business model that will contribute to sustained growth of the economy, possibly also beyond Earth
Disruptive for participation
How can we increase embedding space exploration in the centre of society, making all on Earth active stakeholders?

For more information please refer to the Call for DIGITS document and the DIGITS Submission Form.

partnership packages




Space for Inspiration 2016  –  London Science Museum

flickr gallery


Conference centre Euskalduna, Bilbao, Spain



ESA has negotiated preferred rates at hotels in Bilbao for the Space for Inspiration event’s participants.



Strategy & Innovation Team
Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration

Keplerlaan 1  –  2200 AG Noordwijk  –  The Netherlands

© 2018 European Space Agency