Space Entrepreneurship Center Launched

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Three CU-Boulder graduate student teams who are developing promising aerospace technologies with commercial applications are getting support from a new not-for-profit organization known as eSpace.

The Center for Space Entrepreneurship, or eSpace, was created this spring through a partnership between CU-Boulder and SpaceDev, Inc. of Louisville. The center is dedicated to creating new entrepreneurial space companies, commercializing aerospace technologies created within these companies, and developing the aerospace workforce to support them.

"By providing access to the academic resources of the university, grants to promising space entrepreneurs, and access to both the manufacturing infrastructure of SpaceDev and a network of experienced aerospace entrepreneurs, we expect to create a fertile environment for ensuring the best possible chance of success for start-up space companies," says Scott Tibbitts, eSpace executive director.

More than $1 million has been provided to support the launch of the center, with primary funding from a grant from the Metro Denver Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) initiative. Additional funding comes from the Colorado Office of Economic Development, CU-Boulder, SpaceDev, and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The initial round of technologies funded by the eSpace Venture Design program includes:

  • The "Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment" to develop nanosatellites that can improve the prediction of solar storms and their effects on Earth.
  • A "Mini Jet Engine" for unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • "SmartSondes for Atmospheric Sensing" to provide a remote control unmanned aerial system that can measure micro-weather effects near storms and wild fires.

 

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