GAIA Aerospace receives funding from high-tech incubator HTIA Smart Mobility

GAIA Aerospace is developing VALKYRIE, a reusable air-launch system designed to carry miniature satellites into space. GAIA's spin-off is now receiving funding as part of a newly established high-tech incubator under the leadership of the Technical University of Braunschweig.

A total of 4.7 million euros is available for the establishment and operation of the high-tech incubator or accelerator in the field of smart mobility (HTIA Smart Mobility). The corresponding funding decision was handed over by the State Secretary in the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economics, Labor, Transport and Digitalization, Stefan Muhle, on October 4, 2022 at the Lower Saxony Research Center for Vehicle Technology (NFF). In the run-up to the event, a jury of experts had already selected 14 startups that will now receive funding of up to 200,000 euros. In addition, all founders of the selected startups will receive a scholarship for a period of ten months. If they have completed their studies, they will receive 2,000 euros per month; if they have completed their vocational training, they will receive 1,000 euros per month.

High-tech incubator from the High-Tech Consortium

HTIA was initiated by a Lower Saxony consortium of science and research. This consortium consists of the Entrepreneurship Hub (ESH) of the TU Braunschweig and the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, the Lower Saxony Research Center for Automotive Engineering (NFF), the Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V. and the Innovationsgesellschaft Technische Universität Braunschweig mbH (iTUBS).

The fact that HTIA Smart Mobility can now take off is an honor, and shows that our university's focus on mobility has proven very successful and that the joint strategy for knowledge and technology transfer of the TU, Ostfalia and the research region offers a lot of potential and complements it perfectly.

Prof. Angela Ittel, President TU Braunschweig
© Eric Haase

Minister of Economics Dr. Bernd Althusmann emphasized the international appeal of the location in the field of mobility. In the Braunschweig-Wolfsburg region, he said, solutions are being found for challenges associated with mobility. With Volkswagen, the Braunschweig Research Airport and the Open Hybrid Lab Factory, the region already has a heavyweight cluster. "The Smart Mobility high-tech incubator will also succeed in retaining young talent with their dynamic start-ups even better and creating added value for all of Lower Saxony," Althusmann said. In this context, "Smart Mobility" encompasses not only mobility in the narrower sense, but also intelligent information and communications technology, which is essential for networking transportation systems.

Reusable Microlauncher - the VALKYRIE AirLaunch System

GAIA Aerospace can draw on 160,000 euros to further develop its VALKYRIE AirLaunch System. The concept involves attaching the microlauncher under the fuselage of a transport aircraft from the size of an Airbus A320 or a Boeing 737. The rocket is then released above the troposphere and launched into space from there. The system thus offers a decisive advantage, as launches can take place regardless of weather conditions. After a successful mission, the first stage returns to earth on a parachute and is reused after maintenance.

Header Image Credit: GAIA Aerospace
Written by M. Weissflog
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