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Expo 2020 Dubai

Day one of the Official Space Mission to Expo 2020 Dubai! The Luxembourg delegation of 80+ individuals attended the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) at the World Trade Center in Dubai.

Luxembourg Space companies take off during the Official Space Mission in Dubai

Based on the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the Universal Exposition is being held in Dubai from October 2021 to March 2022.

After being postponed for a year, Expo 2020 Dubai officially opened its doors to the public on 1 October, 2021. Along with it, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce started its ambitious trade programme which includes five sectoral trade missions (ICT, space, sustainability, healthtech, food & beverage), one multisectoral B2B matchmaking mission as well as a “Made in Luxembourg” week. 

From 24 to 30 October, the Official Space Mission was led by H.E. Mr. Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, accompanied by an impressive business delegation coordinated by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce with: 

  • 90 participants
  • 14 official representatives
  • 36 Luxembourg space companies
  • 19 representatives of institutions and research centres

The Official Space Mission, organised in close collaboration with the Ministry of the Economy, the Luxembourg Space Agency, and the Luxembourg Trade and Invest Office in Abu Dhabi, was the second economic mission organised in the framework of EXPO 2020.  

The entire delegation can be seen here in the official brochure.  

The programme of the business delegation was centred around the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) which attracts more than 8,000 participants each year. Covering all space sectors and topics, it offered the business delegation the latest information and developments in academia and industry, networking opportunities, contacts and potential partnerships. 

The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce subsidised 50% of entrance fees to the IAC and arranged tickets to Expo 2020 Dubai for all members of the business delegation. The mission included a guided “Space Walk” of Expo 2020 Dubai, VIP access to the Luxembourg National Pavilion, an official networking reception in the presence of the Minister of the Economy, the Ambassador of Luxembourg to the UAE, the Luxembourg Space Agency and many others. During his opening address at the official networking reception the Chamber of Commerce CEO, Mr Carlo Thelen, stressed that “the space sector is a vibrant and fast developing sector in the Luxembourg economy, with around 70 space companies established in Luxembourg. Of these 70 companies, over half participated in this Space Mission to Dubai”.  

Several Luxembourg-based companies and institutions gave visibility to Luxembourg on the prestigious stage of the IAC by chairing different technical sessions, participating in discussion panels and presenting their research. This was the case for the University of Luxembourg, the SnTispace, and Redwire Space Europe

Notable announcements by the Luxembourg Government and Luxembourg Space Agency were the signature of a new framework agreement on space cooperation with Francethe signature of a memorandum on space cooperation with Italy, the launch of the world’s first start-up support programme dedicated to Space Resources by the European Space Resources Innovation Centre, and a collaboration between the European Space Resources Innovation Centre and Airbus Defence&Space on lunar resources extraction technologies

Besides the official announcements from the Government and the Luxembourg Space Agency, two Luxembourg-based space companies made the local and global news, Maana Electic and ispace. Maana Electric, who plans on producing photovoltaic cells with lunar sand just opened a branch in Dubai, and ispace’s moon rover will head to the moon as early as 2023 to collect said lunar sand (regolith) and bring it back to Earth. 

After this productive week in Dubai, the space delegation headed back to the Grand Duchy, concluding the second of six events the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce is organising during Expo 2020 Dubai. Next stop: Made in Luxembourg week!  

But of course,the trade mission programme does not end this year: there will be a sustainability mission, an international B2B matchmaking event, a healthtech mission as well as a food & beverage mission to look forward to in 2022!

Feel free to register for these events here.

Covering all space sectors and topics, the IAC offers the latest information and developments in academia and industry, networking opportunities, contacts, and potential partnerships.

Luxembourg was present at the IAC with a national pavilion organized by the Luxembourg Space Agency and the Ministry of the Economy.

The delegates embarked on the “Space Walk” – a curated thematic tour at Expo 2020 Dubai – on the second day.

The space sector played a major role at Expo 2020 Dubai, notably in the USA Pavilion where a replica of the Opportunity Mars Rover is exhibited.

Opti, the Opportunity Pavilion mascot, is one of the autonomous robots that visitors can encounter at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Expo 2020 Dubai remains quite an experience long after the sun sets, as lights begin to twinkle and the heat of the day eases.

No tour at the Expo 2020 Dubai is complete without a stop at the Luxembourg Pavilion!

Participating companies had the chance to invite their clients, business partners and prospects to a networking reception in the Luxembourg Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

fltr: Carlo Thelen (CEO, Chamber of Commerce), H.E. Franz Fayot (Minister of the Economy) and H.E. Robert Lauer (Ambassador of Luxembourg to the UAE).

The “Space Walk” culminated in a pleasant reception in the Schengen Lounge.

Eight companies as well as the Luxembourg Space Agency were exhibiting on the Luxembourg Pavilion at the IAC.


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