On March 3th to 4th, Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Centre held the 1st business forum and exhibition dedicated to the commercial space industry, the INSPACE FORUM 2016. The event was organized by Smile-Expo exhibition company. Partners of the event included the “Skolkovo Foundation” - the Cluster of space technologies and telecommunications, «GLONASS/GNSS-Forum» Association, Sputnix Company and Glonass Union.
The Forum objective is to attract the attention of the state and venture capital funds to private Russian space business, as well as its development.
The main program included panel discussions:
As part of the main program of the Forum panel discussions were held within two days, discussing topical issues and challenges in private space exploration, the development of public-private partnerships, innovations in satellite and rocket construction, popularization of space in Russia, space tourism, import substitution and international cooperation, investment support, manned space complexes and business prospects, as well as the development of student projects and their integration into space business.
Within the discussion ‘Great Roscosmos and young private space industry: are they friends or rivals?’ participants discussed the support of private companies by the government.
Participants of the discussion: Andrey Ionin (GLONASS UNION), Igor Burenkov (ROSCOSMOS), Mikhail Tsygankov ("Skolkovo" Foundation), Sergey Zhukov (Moscow Space Club), Sergey Ivanov (Dauria Aerospace), Valentin Uvarov (URSC), Ivan Moiseev (Space Policy Institute).
Igor Burenkov, the Director of Communications at ROSCOSMOS said that the aim of the Corporation is the development of public-private partnerships. He admitted that private business should take all risks on the creation and the first stage of the development. The Government in its turn will support those who will invest a lot of money and get the results.
Within the discussion ‘More rocket vehicles. More satellites’ participants discussed innovations in satellite and rocket construction as well as investments and business development.
Participants of the discussion: Sergey Zhukov (Moscow Space Club), Nikolay Sevastyanov (Gazprom Space Systems), Dmitry Payson (URSC), Andrey Potapov (SPUTNIX), Pavel Pushkin (CosmoCourse), Nikolay Dzis-Voynarovskiy (Lin Industrial).
Andrey Potapov, SPUNTIX’s CEO, told about innovations in satellite construction. He admitted that currently focus is made on multi-satellite technologies and creation of multi-satellite systems. It is the subject to the Earth's remote sensing and communication systems. That is why Sputnix is going to carve out a niche in the sector within 10-15 years.
National company Lin Industrial is ready to provide inexpensive and easy method for small satellite launching. The company is dealing with the development of ultralight rockets.
Nikolay Dzis-Voynarovskiy (Chief Integration Officer at Lin Industrial) noted: “We are working on the creation of satellite launcher that will put a satellite into low Earth orbit. They are supposed to be launched in big amounts and cluster launch with big rocket may be unsuitable due to the long waiting time. We will be able to put a satellite into orbit within the shortest possible period of time”.
With the development of technologies, requirements to space object are changing as well.
Nikolay Sevastyanov (General Designer at Gazprom Space Systems) admitted that the basis for efficient operation of any company is customer orientation. You have to understand your consumers and realize what goods and services they will need. Clients do not use satellites, they need our services. And we need to find out what requirements for satellites are needed in order to provide required services, as well as which technologies are to be used for this purpose. The next step is very important - obtaining investments. When creating our first satellite "Yamal-100", our task was to make it according to world standards, meaning the application of new technologies. We had to provide a great resource of this work. The whole project was carried out entirely by startups. We have achieved low cost-price and the project became self-sustaining”.
In Russia there are several commercial satellite companies, including Gazprom Space Systems, Sputniks and Dauria Aerospace. According to CosmoCourse’s CEO Pavel Pushkin, companies are competing for the commercial market, but they would be happy to get government contracts as well. It is regular practice for all countries, including the United States, where the largest corporations are trying to rely on government orders and receive state support. However, the form of such cooperation is still under development.
Within the discussion ‘How to make money in the space industry? Who will earn in the space industry?’ participants shared their views on technologies and markets that may become “white swans” for space service sector. They also discussed ways and possibilities for the implementation of Western experience on venture capital investors’ support of space service startups in Russia.
Participants of the discussion: Andrey Ionin (GLONASS UNION), Ilya Golubovich (I2BF Global Ventures), Valery Komissarova (Grishin Robotics), Vadim Teplyakov (Yaliny), Vladimir Gershenzon (SCANEX), Michael Bolsunovsky (SOVZOND).
The amount of venture capital in space sector has grown significantly over the past few years, especially in 2015, said Valery Komissarova, Business Development Director at Grishin Robotics. The fund already has two companies in the space service sector and plans to continue active monitoring of the sector.
Taking into account the development of satellite technologies market and the reduction of launching costs, I2BF Global Ventures evince great interest in the investments in satellite technology, said its founder and Managing Partner Ilya Golubovich.
Currently the portfolio of the fund includes several space services companies. One of them is Dauria Aerospace. It is one of the first Russian private space companies, a developer and manufacturer of low cost satellites.
Yaliny company also sees prospects of the low-cost satellites production and plans to create a new satellite communication system, which would provide cheap Internet to the users.
Yaliny’s founder Vadim Teplyakov said: “We started to make low-orbit communication satellites in order to create cheap and affordable mobile communication. First, we dealt with the technologies that underlie the efficiency of our system. We’ve realized that our business is very complex and capital-intensive one, especially in the Russian context. To continue our projects we need to earn money in the coming years, and not when we will launch our satellites. We began the development of the ground-based products using technologies we have developed within the first 1.5-2 years since the company's foundation. Now we have two strategic directions: new generation of base stations and space products. The first test satellite launches are planned for the next year. The next step will be system scaling in cooperation with international companies”.
Within the discussion ‘Space: How to rekindle the extinguishing fire?’ participants noted that in recent decades, the interest in space has been steadily declining. It objectively hinders the innovative development of the sector. It is necessary to determine what government tools may be used in order to spark interest in space industry among young people and what space projects will have a maximum propaganda effect.
Participants of the discussion: Vitaliy Egorov (Dauria Aerospace), Evgeniy Stepanov (ROSCOSMOS), Dmitry Shishkin (URSC), Igor Marinin (Novosti Kosmonavtiki), Alexander Shaenko (Engineering University), Fedor Shkurov (Miigaik), Ivan Cheberko (IZVESTIA).
In the end of the main program there was a discussion ‘The Russian space program: Import substitution to a natural economy? Or search for strategic partners?’ Participants shared their views on space industry sectors where Russia has to and able to develop the production of its own space equipment, in order to substitute foreign one. Experts also discussed strategic pathway for international cooperation in current market situation.
Participants of the discussion: Aleksandr Baurov (URSC), Dmitry Bakanov (JSC Satellite system "Gonets"), Denis Votonovsky (URSC), Andrey Ionin (GLONASS UNION), Michael Bolsunovsky (SOVZOND).
The second day of the Forum was dedicated to various reports and two panel discussions.
Within the first discussion ‘Manned orbital laboratories: the prospects for business’ experts discussed modern approaches to commercialization of space experiments, orbiting laboratories and new opportunities for companies in various industries.
Participants of the discussion: Vyacheslav Turyshev (University of California, Los Angeles), Valentin Uvarov (URSC), Maksim Cheremisin (RSC Energia).
Within the second discussion ‘Student projects as a springboard for private space industry’ participants shared their experience in the creation of their own projects from scratch and fund raising for their realization.
Participants of the discussion: Stanislav Karpenko (SPUTNIX), Mikhail Shcherbakov (SSAU), Mikhail Panasyuk (Lomonosov Moscow State University), Sergey Firsyuk (Moscow Aviation Institute), Alexander Shaenko (University Of Mechanical Engineering), Vitaliy Egorov (Dauria Aerospace), Evgeniy Gavrilin (Boomstarter).
Evgeniy Gavrilin, Founder of the Boomstarter - domestic crowdfunding platform, told about the role of crowdfunding in space industry projects and gave guidance on how to raise funds for sure. As the examples of crowdfunding are Alexander Shaenko and Vitaliy Egorov who managed to rise more than a million rubles for the implementation of their projects.
Exposition of an exhibition
Within the Forum there was a two-day exposition, including stands of satellites and components manufacturers, rocket and space equipment, software, UAVs, devices for 3D-printing, as well as representatives of educational establishment projects.
Within the Exhibition there were 14 participants:
Samara State Aerospace University.
Space satellite ‘Mayak’.
One of the main conclusions of the event: private cosmonautics in Russia exists and develops in spite of the obstacles.
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