ESA x CEMS event 2024

Space is open for business – and its changing everything

Space technology is no longer just for rockets and satellites.  It's transforming industries on Earth, from healthcare to agriculture to logistics. Think precision farming, smarter logistics, and even breakthroughs in healthcare. This revolution presents incredible opportunities – but to seize them, we need to bridge the gap between the space sector and the wider business world.

At this landmark event, we'll explore the past, present, and future of space commercialization. Since the start of Rotterdam School of Management, CEMS, and ESA's partnership in 2004, the rise of the commercial space industry has redefined the dynamics of space exploration, satellite technology, and human spaceflight. Private companies have revolutionized rocketry, satellite deployment, and launch services, challenging the traditional role of government space agencies.

This means the connection between space and business is more important than ever. Space technologies can hold the key to solving real-world problems and even reimagining entire industries. That's where business education plays a pivotal role, connecting new entrepreneurs with the best scientists and engineers so that they can shape this exciting future together.

Join us as we celebrate 20 years of collaboration between RSM, CEMS, and ESA.  We'll reflect on the journey so far, explore the possibilities ahead, and discuss how business schools can shape the future of the space economy.

René Olie

Associate Professor of Strategic and International Management

Werner Brouwer

Dean of RSM

Niels Eldering

Head of Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation

Dietmar Pilz

Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality, ESA

Philip Thomas

Head of ScaleUp Programme Division, ESA

Apostolia Karamali

Head of DG Cabinet, ESA

Jan van den Ende

Professor of Management of Technology and Innovation

Tim Heijmann

Space Industry Consultant

Frank Hugi

Program Manager Strategic Space Projects, Beyond Gravity

16:00 - 16:30


16:30 - 16:45

Word of welcome & opening

Insights from ESA

16:45 - 17:30

Presentation by Dietmar Pilz

Presentation by Philip Thomas

Presentation by Apostolia Karamari

17:30 - 17:45


Insights from business research and education

The innovativeness of the space sector

17:45 - 18:30

Presentation by Jan van den Ende

Panel discussion

18:30 - 18:45


Reflection on 20 years of partnership 

Experiences from insiders

18:45 - 19:20

Presentation by Niels Eldering

Presentation by Tim Heijmann

Presentation by Frank Hugi

19:20 - 21:00

Dinner & closure