Global Industry Inspired to Innovate Sustainable Products Using Space Technology

SHANGHAI, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Today at the Sustainability Space Day in Shanghai, innovation and sustainability project Down To Earth gathers top stakeholders from industry, government and academia. The purpose is to discuss how commercialized space technologies can generate a more sustainable world, while creating growth, innovations and new jobs.

For both states and corporations, space technology transfer is becoming big business. A calculation made by the European Space Agency, ESA, shows that every Euro invested in space provides a return of 20 Euros in spin-offs in other businesses and parts of society. This and the pressure to develop more sustainable products and services to meet higher market expectations, have raised the interest in space technology transfer amongst both industry, academia and society.

Open innovation concepts launched

Down To Earth is a 10 year initiative founded in Sweden, a country known for its high profile within both space technology, sustainability and innovation. The project has developed a multi-disciplinary open innovation process for commercializing materials, technologies and solutions from space. It aims to generate new innovations and ideas with focus on sustainability, and the first innovation conceps are presented in Shanghai today at the Swedish Pavilion ”Spirit of Innovation”.

- Sustainability Space Day is about showing key stakeholders of society that they can benefit from solutions in space. We meet global topics such as education, household services and city development with innovative ideas inspired by space, says Cecilia Hertz, co-founder of Down To Earth and Managing Director of space design company Umbilical Design.

”The Kitchen of The Future” innovation concept was developed for household appliance world leader Electrolux. The appliance maker draws valuable learnings on how space technology can help develop more sustainable products to meet future consumer needs.

- The overal objective of Electrolux is to serve our consumers with household appliances that make every-day living a little easier. We should develop products that satisfies needs and wishes consumers may not even know they have. To learn from the space industry is a different and exciting perspective and fits well with sustainability already being a vital part in our strategy. We have learned that Down To Earth is an exciting project for us that can translate to future business opportunities, says Christina Lindstedt, General Manager New Business Areas at Electrolux.

NASA technology based success story

Swedish entrepreneur Dag Landvik have vast experience in space technology transfer, after having built up Fagerdala World Foams. The company is an international group specializing in high technology polymer foams and a world wide success story in using space technology

after developing the “Tempur” foam based on NASA technology. The ”Tempur” foam was accepted to the NASA Hall of Fame in 1998.

- The space sector is fantastic to understand and use for innovations, and as a source for inspiration. At Fagerdala we managed to find the right application for NASA’s technology in our own state of crisis and the successes have inspired us to continue apply space technology for other business areas. Examples are boat hulls and light weight components for the car industry, where we use material from space, says Dag Landvik, key note speaker.

Mind challenging initiative with high ambition

The project is founded by space design company Umbilical Design and Jonkoping International Business School, with the overall objective to stimulate industry to create new exciting jobs for young people based on sustainable technologies.

- Down to Earth is a mind challenging initiative and a chance for industry, academia and society to work around real global challenges and explore new innovative business opportunities. As an educator of tomorrow’s international business developers it is important for us to be part of driving this kind of development, says Professor Niclas Adler, co-founder of Down To Earth and Dean and Managing Director of Jonkoping International Business School in Sweden.

About Down To Earth

Down to Earth is a 10-year global initiative founded in Sweden, with the overall objective to stimulate our industry to create new exciting jobs for young people based on sustainable concepts and technologies. Inspired from the knowledge on material, methodologies and solutions from the space industry, Down To Earth offers increased business opportunities for various business and industry sector. Through a multi-disciplinary innovation process, Down To Earth shows how space can be a catalyst for creativity and how space technology transfer have the potential of creating industrial renewal, in Sweden as well as globally. The project is a collaboration between Umbilical Design and Jonkoping International Business School, with partners from both industry and government. More information on

About Umbilical Design

Umbilical Design is a Swedish company in the area of design for space applications and for technology transfer from the space sector to other industries. Umbilical Design has worked with NASA, ESA and with projects across many industries. The company was founded in 2001 by space designer Cecilia Hertz. More information on

About Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS)

Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS) has since its origin in 1994 become the most international business school started in Sweden and one of the most international business schools in Europe. JIBS is today a recognized institution with world leading research and high ranked educational programs in business, economics and business law. JIBS work in partnership with more than 200 universities around the world and has more than 400 exchange students from about 80 countries taking part in JIBS educational programs every semester. More information on

Source: The Swedish Committee for Expo 2010 in Shanghai