On February 16th, 2023, the European Galactica project has hosted its Final Event at the World Trade Center in Barcelona, Spain, and awarded the Italian start-up Astradyne with the first prize in the Orbital category of the competition.
Galactica aimed to demonstrate the viability of new industrial value chains regarding the textile and aerospace sectors based on advanced manufacturing across the European Union. The event, a gathering of Europe’s most active impact investors and stakeholders in the DeepTech sector, was open to participation to SMEs, entrepreneurs, start-ups, other clusters, managing authorities and regional governments. The meeting started with a general overview of the Galactica project and its achievements, focusing on the best practices and the new value chains generated in the process, then the event showcased some of the most exciting and innovative space tech start-ups in Europe, highlighting the potential for growth and impact in this rapidly evolving industry. Five selected orbital projects presented their pitching and answered the questions of the jury members.
The winner project, SolarCube, was proposed by Astradyne, which has developed origami-inspired deployable solar panels and entered the ESA BIC Turin incubation program in 2022. SolarCube has grown with Galactica, as the startup's team members were the winners of the student teams on the 1st Galactica hackathon in 2021; then they founded their company, competed in the Pioneer category in Galactica's 1st Call and won the first place in the Orbital category of the 2nd Call.
"Our electronics-textile binding technology has been recognized for its outstanding innovative value. This is the coronation of an amazing journey started in 2021 with our participation first in the Galactica hackathon, then in the Pioneer stage and finally in the Orbital stage," commented Alessia Gloder, CEO of Astradyne. "We will never thank enough all the people that supported our project from the first day: Galactica project, the European Business Angel Network (EBAN), Science Park Graz (SPG), ESA Business Incubation Centre Austria, and all the other entities that led us towards this exceptional result."
Launched in September 2020 and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the Galactica project aimed to support the creation of new industrial value chains around textile and aerospace based on advanced manufacturing. The project facilitated the uptake of industrial intelligent systems and IoT (Internet of Things) as part of the strategic innovation drivers for the textile and aerospace industries.
The textile and aerospace sectors employ over 2 million people in Europe. Both sectors face very similar challenges in the incorporation of advanced manufacturing technologies as cornerstone for digitalization and bringing in industrial intelligent systems into productive environment. The opportunities for combining both sectors using advanced manufacturing as enabler can lead to flourishment of new value chains and generate new market opportunities, boost the revenues up and improve their productivity. Up to date, Galactica launched two calls for project funding for SMEs, in which 2,8 million euros have been distributed to a total of 82 enterprises.
The Galactica consortium integrated eight European clusters and two innovation agents: AEI Tèxtils in Catalonia as project coordinator, ATEVAL in Valencia and CTA in Andalusia (Spain), NTT in Italy, CORALLIA in Greece, Suderelbe in Germany, Productech in Portugal, EMC2 in France, EBAN in Belgium and Science Park Graz in Austria.