5 December 2013. On 11 November 2013 ESPI hosted a conference targeting the staggering rates of youth unemployment in Europe, and especially those in the ‘periphery’. The conference served as a platform to discuss the specific measures the space sector is currently taking to secure employment for the young and whether space can do more in the future to alleviate this problem.
The conference was attended by many delegates of industry, government and education. The conference, moderated by Professor Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, was opened by ESPI Director Peter Hulsroj who provided a general introduction to the problem of youth unemployment in Europe. This was followed by a presentation by the key note speaker, Dr Hannes Androsch, highlighting the high tech character of space and the role space can play in aiding in the problem of youth unemployment. Both Professor Jan Wörner (DLR) and Jorge Lomba Ferreras (CDTI) discussed the opportunities of the youth in space, respectively in Germany and Spain. Likewise, Vicente Gomez demonstrated the efforts of EADS Casa Espacio in helping to reduce the barriers that young people face when entering the space market. Luis Ferreira gave an insight in how the SGAC represents the voice of the youth in the space sector. Subsequently, the ESA’s initiatives that are directed to the young were explained by Bettina Böhm, while José Ricardo Aguilar devoted his presentation on how incubator programmes and space can create employment opportunities for the youth. Harald Posch, head of the Austrian Aerospace Agency, went more into depth in ESA’s Convention and shared his views on how introducing new measures might target youth unemployment. Lastly, Peter Hulsroj introduced the ideas of crowd-funding, crowd-sourcing and disruptive innovation in the space sector. After a dynamic round table, the conference was closed by Jan Laurens Brinkhorst who concluded that space has a role to play and renewed efforts must be made to capitalise on the many interesting ideas presented during the conference.
Peter Hulsroj, ESPI Director
Prof Laurens Jan Brinkhorst and Hannes Androsch, former Austrian Minister of Finance
Jan Wörner, head of DLR
Jorge Lomba Ferreras, CDTI, Member of Spanish Delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency
Luís Ferreira, National Point of Contact of Portugal, Space Generation Advisory Council
Harald Posch, Head of the Austrian space agency
Vicente Gomez, Technical Director, EADS Casa Espacio, Spain
From left: Jorge Lomba Ferreras, Herbert Allgeier (Chairman, ESPI Advisory Council) and Luis Ferreira
From left: Harald Posch, Bettina Böhm, Vicente Gomez, Peter Hulsroj
Bettina Böhm, Head of Human Resources Department, ESA