In 2015, the European Space Agency (ESA) published its Space Exploration Strategy which is based on 4 strategic goals (science, economics, global cooperation, and inspiration) and which opens-up new opportunities for delivering benefits to society.

To create and capitalise on those opportunities, ESA is taking a more proactive role in fostering cross-synergies between space and terrestrial R&D, and has initiated the ESA Open Innovation Exchange project.


Exchange Objectives

The ESA Innovation Exchange: When Space Meets Health aims to:

  • Increase awareness among stakeholders from the institutional and private healthcare sector about the ESA strategy, technology roadmaps and identified knowledge gaps for space exploration, and the ESA life sciences, technology R&D and applications/services programmes.
  • Initiate a dialogue between ESA and stakeholders from the institutional and private healthcare sector on scientific research and technologies of common interest in order to identify potential new space/non-space cross synergies.
  • Identify the potential application of space technology in the healthcare sector (the SPIN-OUT potential) and the SPIN-IN potential of the healthcare sector R&D for space exploration.
  • Incentivize stakeholders from the institutional and private healthcare sector to engage with ESA.
  • Explore opportunities for potential partnerships with the institutional and private healthcare sector for mutually beneficial R&D and applications/services purposes.
  • Strengthen European collaboration and excellence in science and technology R&D.





The event included 5 thematic splinter group discussions on a broad range of topics that will form the basis for eliciting ideas for potential partnerships moving forward, and for reinforcing cross-synergies space/terrestrial healthcare R&D and the transfer of medical know-how and technologies for the benefit of both space exploration and society on Earth.


Splinter 1 – Remote and autonomous healthcare monitoring and intervention

This splinter addressed the matter of practising and managing healthcare as well as facilitating its application by means of electronic processes and communication. It encompassed, for example, the remote medical assistance and humanitarian crisis management, intervention, and training (e.g. telemedicine, tele-assisted surgery and tele-education).

  • Chair: Derk Schneemann, Verhaert
  • Contributors for discussion:
    • Jean-Christophe Braun, Partner, In Extenso Innovation Croissance – Tech2Market
    • Nathalie Pattyn, Professor, Royal Military Academy
    • Federico Bertuzzi, Diabetologist, Niguarda Hospital
    • Audrey Berthier, Biomedical Engineer, Project Manager, MEDES
    • Olivier Horbowy, Strategic Marketing – Advanced Projects, STM Electronics
  • ESA Organisation Committee Member: Arnaud Runge


Splinter 2 – Advanced medical diagnostics and therapies, imaging, point-of-care and e-health technologies

This splinter addressed new advanced tools for the analysis and protection of individual’s health status and for the treatment of specific pathophysiological conditions. It included, for example, the research and development of new techniques and devices for faster identification of specific biomarkers, symptoms and countermeasures in both the laboratories and in situ.

  • Chair: Paul Martin Bansmann, KH Porz am Rhein
  • Contributors for discussion:
    • Thomas Friese, Vice President for Digital Ecosystem and Platforms, Siemens Healthcare
    • Floris Wuyts, Professor, University of Antwerp
    • Cristina Bescos, European Program Manager, Philips Hospital To Home – Telehealth
    • Sotiris Evgenidis, Researcher, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • ESA Organisation Committee Member: Lluc Diaz, Technology Transfer Engineer, ESA – Angelika Daniels, Event Coordinator, ESA


Splinter 3 – Health issues associated with ageing and sedentary population

This splinter addressed the health issues associated with an increasing proportion of elderly people in the population and obesity. The discussions converged towards the present and future analysis of the underlying process of health issues associated with ageing and inactivity, medical assistance and mitigation methodologies.

  • Chairs: Martina Heer, Institute of Food and Nutrition Sciences, University of Bonn
  • Contributors for discussion:
    • Ariane Andres, Head of Academic Alliances, Nestlé Research Center
    • Valerie Gil, Exploration Scientist, Canadian Space Agency
    • Ilario Stefani, Diabetologist, ASST Ovest Milanese
    • Roel Smolders, CEO, Activ84health
  • ESA Organisation Committee Member: Jason Hatton, Head of Biology and Environmental Monitoring Science Office, ESA


Splinter 4 – Genetics and personalised medicine

This splinter addressed the advancements in healthcare management by means of analytical and interventional tools involving genetic mechanisms and related modifications (i.e. epigenetics) and interactions with the -omics (i.e. proteomics and metabolomics). The discussions also converged towards the field of personalized medicine via the design and generation of ad hoc health screening tests, pharmaceutical compounds and related new biotechnological techniques and devices to achieve them.

  • Chairs: Alex Pines, Senior Scientist DNA Repair Research – Erasmus Medical Centre – Rotterdam
  • Contributors for discussion:
    • Wilbert Vermeij, Senior Scientist Ageing Research – Erasmus Medical Centre – Rotterdam
    • Isabelle Wachsmuth, Health System and Innovation Service, UN WHO
    • Vincent Yip, Research Fellow, University of Liverpool
    • Keith Baker, Independent Innovation Producer, Two Healthy Life Years Europe (2HLY.EU)
    • Cinzia Dello Russo – Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, Catholic University Medical School, Rome – Dimitri Gagliardi, Research Fellow, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, The University of Manchester
    • Judith-Irina Pagel, Resident physician, University of Munich
  • ESA Organisation Committee Member: Leonardo Surdo, Project scientist, ESA


Splinter 5 – Environmental risk assessment models, surveillance, protection and countermeasures

This splinter addressed the management of the risks posed to health by different environmental hazards such as radiation, toxic pollutants and contaminants. It leveraged on the relevance of better monitoring, preventing, mitigating and solving health protection issues with special emphasis on the radiation topic (e.g. radiation shielding and radiation therapy), but also on the simultaneous exposure to multiple environmental stressors.

  • Chairs: Marco Silari, CERN
  • Contributors for discussion:
    • Enrico Chesta, Aerospace Applications Coordinator, CERN
    • Cécile Vignolles , Responsible for the tele-epidemiology programme, CNES
    • Damien Bertrand, Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, Ion Beam Applications (IBA) s.a.
    • Marjan Moreels, Senior scientist, Institute for Environment, Health and Safety, SCK-CEN
  • ESA Organization Committee Member: Ulrich Straube, Flight Surgeon, ESA

8 November 2016

08:45 Registration & coffee
09:15 Welcome Quiz: Who are you? Where do you come from?
09:25 New trends in space and health – Claudie Haigneré, ESA Astronaut, DG Senior Advisor, ESA
09:35 ESA: overview & mission goals – Jason Hatton, Head of Biology and Environmental Monitoring Science Office, ESA
10:00 Ramesh Krishnamurthy, Senior Advisor, Department of Information, Evidence and Research Health Systems and Innovation Cluster, UN WHO, Space Science and Technology for Advancing Pubic Health
10:20 Coffee break
10:40 Menno Kok, Managing Director of EIT Health Belgium & The Netherlands, EIT – Health KIC Initiative
10:55 The EIP on Active and Healthy Ageing: Demographic Change as an Innovation Opportunity – Menno Hinkema, Senior Researcher, TNO
11:10 Keynote speech on Space and global health, projects and perspectives – Antoine Geissbuhler, Professor and chair, division of e-Health and telemedicine, Geneva University Hospitals
11:25 Keynote presentations on success cases of synergies space and terrestrial R&D moderated by Olivier Opatz, Specialist Anaesthesiology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin

  • Chris Hannan, Director of Operations and Compliance, Remote Diagnostic Technologies Ltd
  • Gil Travish, Chief Scientific Officer, Adaptix Imaging
  • Taff Morgan, Chief Technical Officer, Oxford Micromedical
  • Martin Stauber, Senior Scientist, Scanco Medical AG
11:50 Q&A
12:10 Sprint launch to the splinter sessions jointly with by Roel Kamerling, Medical Delta
12:30 Lunch break
13:15 1st round of splinter sessions
14:45 2nd round of splinter sessions
16:15 Wrap-up of the splinter sessions & Coffee Break
16:45 Reports from splinter sessions
17:00 Concluding remarks (ESA, UN–WHO, Health KIC and Medical Delta)
17:15 End
Speakers & Committees


Ariane Andres
Head of Academic Alliances
Nestlé Research Center)
Keith Baker
Independent Innovation Producer
Two Healthy Life Years Europe (2HLY.EU)
Paul Martin Bansmann
Chief Consultant
Institut für Diagnostische und Interventionelle Radiologie, Kardio MR/CT Köln/Bon
Audrey Berthier
Biomedical Engineer
Damien Bertrand
Strategic Partnerships Coordinator
Ion Beam Applications (IBA) s.a.
Federico Bertuzzi
Niguarda Hospital – Milan
Cristina Bescos
European Program Manager
Philips Hospital to Home – Telehealth
Jean-Christophe Braun
Partner, In Extenso Innovation Croissance
Enrico Chesta
Aerospace Applications Coordinator
Cinzia Della Russo
Assistant Professor of Pharmacology
Catholic University Medical School, Rome
Sotiris Evgenidis
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Thomas Friese
VP Innovation
Siemens Healthcare
Dimitri Gagliardi
Research Fellow
The University of Manchester
Antoine Geissbuhler
Professor and chair, division of eHealth and telemedicine
Geneva University Hospitals
Valerie Gil
Exploration Scientist
Canadian Space Agency
Chris Hannan
Director of Operations and Compliance
Remote Diagnostic Technologies Ltd
Martina Heer
Institute of Food and Nutrition Sciences
University of Bonn
Menno Hinkema
Senior Researcher
Olivier Horbowy
Strategic Marketing – Advanced Projects
STM Electronics
Claudie Heignere
ESA Astronaut, DG Senior Advisor
Menno Kok
Managing Director of EIT Health Belgium & The Netherlands
EIT- Health KIC
Ramesh Krishnamurthy
Senior Advisor, Department of Information, Evidence and Research, Health Systems and Innovation Cluster
Marjan Moreels
Senior scientist
Institute for Environment, Health and Safety, SCK-CEN
Geraint (Taff) Morgan
Insect Research Systems Limited
Oliver Opatz
Specialist Anaesthesiology
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Judith-Irina Pagel
Resident physician
University of Munich
Natalie Pattyn
Royal Military Academy
Alex Pines
Senior Scientist DNA Repair Research
Erasmus Medical Center
Carlo Pucillo
Head of Immunology Lab
University of Udine
Derk Schneemann
Innovation Consultancy & Design
Marco Silari
Roel Smolders
Martin Stauber
Senior Scientist
Scanco Medical AG
Ilario Stefani
ASST Ovest Milanese – Milan
Martina Szewczyk
University of Nottingham
Gil Travish
Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Adaptix Imaging
Wilbert Vermeij
Senior Scientist Ageing Research
Erasmus Medical Center
Cecile Vignolles
Responsible for the tele-epidemiology programme
Isabelle Wachsmuth
Health System and Innovation Service Delivery and Safety
Floris Wuyts
Full Professor
University of Antwerp
Vincent Yip
Research Fellow
University of Liverpool

ESA organising committee


Jason Hatton
Head of Biology and Environmental Monitoring Science Office
Sylvie Ijsselstein
Strategy analist


Angelika Daniels
Event Coordinator – TTPO
Lluc Diaz
Technology Transfer Engineer – TTPO
Veronica La Regina
Strategy and Business Development Officer
Arnaud Runge
Biomedical Engineer
Ulrich Straube
Flight Surgeon
Leonardo Surdo
Project scientist

Scientific committee


M. Durante
Director TIFPA-INFN, University of Trento, Italy

N. Pattyn
Medical Doctor, Royal Military Academy of Belgium, Belgium

C. Pucillo
University of Udine, Italy

Industrial committee


M. Bansmann
Chief Consultant, Institut für Diagnostische und Interventionelle Radiologie, Kardio MR/CT Köln/Bonn, Germany

D. Schneemann
Innovation Consultancy & Design, Verhaert New Products & Services, ESIC – European Space Innovation Centre, The Netherlands

B. Rivollet
CEO, Tech2Market, France

S. Waes
Consultant Innovation & Design and ESA Prime Broker – Technology Transfer Program, Verhaert New Products & Services, Belgium



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Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration

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