drone boven de haven

Uniting Industry Leaders to Advance Drone and Aerospace Innovation, Setting New Standards Globally

In a landmark move, DronePort Rotterdam is thrilled to announce a series of strategic developments that firmly cement its position as a leader in the realisation of a fully integrated innovative mobility ecosystem spanning ports, airports, urban, and regional landscapes.

A Global Event: U-space Revolution Event in Rotterdam

Beginning with the inaugural launch of the ‘U-Space Revolution in Rotterdam’ on 5 March 2024, co-organised with the Port of Rotterdam and attracting 200 participants from 14 countries, this unique event marks the beginning of a new era in autonomous and uncrewed intelligent systems, such as drones. The conference serves as a platform to highlight the rising interest in the emerging potential of this technology and its expected impact on society. Additionally, it acts as a launching pad for DronePort Rotterdam’s strategic alliances.

Aerospace Delta Launch: Forging the Future of Autonomous and Uncrewed Intelligent Systems

At the core of this strategic vision is the Aerospace Delta initiative, stemming from the collective ambition of DronePort Rotterdam and its premier regional partners, including Unmanned Valley, the Aerospace Innovation Hub @TU Delft, InnovationQuarter, and STC (Scheepvaart en Transport College), with support from the City of Rotterdam and the Province of Zuid-Holland. With a newly formed coalition of 100 out of 260 entities under the Aerospace Delta umbrella, there is a unified commitment to transforming the region, and indeed the Netherlands, into a global hub for autonomous and uncrewed intelligent systems. This coalition focuses on innovation and industry transformation through education, testing, training, social entrepreneurship, investments, regulations, policies, and actively applying these initiatives operationally for broader impact.

Strategic Partnerships: Strengthening the Ecosystem Through Educational Innovation

In partnership with STC – the worldwide operating educational and research institution for the shipping, logistics, transport, and process industries – DronePort Rotterdam is collaborating on developing an extensive drone curriculum. This curriculum, covering the entire drone ecosystem, is tailored for both regular and professional education levels. It encompasses a range of drone-related educational content, from regulatory frameworks and safety protocols to practical applications, technological innovations, and policy implications. Additionally, these resources are being developed into online formats to cater to a broad audience, including students, professionals, and newcomers, ensuring everyone can access the information they need to engage with drone technology safely and effectively.

For the second half of this year, STC and DronePort Rotterdam are hosting the ‘Smart Vision Experience: Autonomous and Uncrewed Intelligent Systems’. The event serves to educate and inspire the current and next generations of industry leaders and innovators, showcasing the latest advancements in drone technology and autonomous and uncrewed intelligent systems.

In partnership with Drone Fusion – the international platform for drone researchers and schools innovating for a circular tomorrow – Saxion University of Applied Sciences and DronePort Rotterdam are developing a prime and future-proof platform to drive innovation, research, business, and excellence in the field for autonomous and uncrewed intelligent systems.

This partnership believes in the potential of drone technology to facilitate Europe’s digital, sustainable, and societal transitions, offering benefits for business and society to help build a resilient future. By connecting bright minds, makers, and entrepreneurs in the industry, our partnership is set to catalyse technological progress and market growth, setting new standards for the adoption and integration of autonomous and uncrewed systems worldwide. Ultimately, this partnership seeks to contribute to societal advancement and economic growth while skilling future generations and reskilling the current ones.

drone boven de haven


A Collaborative Blueprint for Regional Advancement

The DronePort Rotterdam organisation and its regional collaboration with partners under the Aerospace Delta banner reflect our collective vision and dedication to the future of the Zuid-Holland region and beyond. Uniting pioneers across business, education, and government, we are establishing a strong foundation for a future enriched by autonomous and uncrewed intelligent systems, essential to our daily lives, economic growth, and community wellbeing. We encourage you to further explore this initiative and collective vision.

The number of active satellites in low Earth orbit has doubled in the last two years. With this many satellites in space, the risk of collisions needs to be addressed. Dawn Aerospace has partnered with SPHERICAL and UARX Space are undertaking work to de-risk technologies for smart-propulsions systems, used for de-orbiting satellites and the end of their lifetime.

 Jeroen Wink, CRO of Dawn Aerospace comments:

“We believe in sustainable space access for all and responsive propulsion systems are key to preventing new space debris.  Partnering with UARX and SPHERICAL on this early-stage R&D will speed up the development of this critical technology.”

The partnership will see each company develop technology in their areas of expertise.

Dawn is aiming to mitigate fuel sloshing through the development of super critical storage in its propulsion systems. This is a unique feature of the nitrous oxide-based propellant choice Dawn utilizes. SPHERICAL will design a power management system that will work in the event of satellite failure.  UARX will work on a control algorithm that can calculate a clear path to de-orbit the satellite.

UARX Co-founder and CEO Yanina Hallak emphasized,

“As we establish a space ecosystem in LEO and beyond, mitigating further debris generation will be critical.”

The collaboration was announced at the Space Tech Expo in Bremen, in the presence of the regional Minister of Economic Affairs and Innovation of Zuid-Holland, Meindert Stolk.

The Province of Zuid-Holland is one of the founders and shareholders of regional economic development agency InnovationQuarter, which has invested in both Dawn and SPHERICAL through their InnovationQuarter Capital and UNIIQ funds.

“I am very proud that these two rising stars from our space ecosystem have found each other. By combining their strengths, Dawn and SPHERICAL are not just building a successful partnership but are also contributing to the growth and prosperity of our Aerospace Delta region,”

said Meindert Stolk.

SPHERICAL CCO Bastiaan Bom added:

“Being part of the Dutch space ecosystem was a great advantage in the early stage of our company. We are thrilled to be working with our first customer from the province of Zuid-Holland”.


About Dawn Aerospace:

Dawn Aerospace is building a sustainable space transportation network. They are the leading provider of nitrous-based green propulsion systems in the world with 69 thrusters in orbit on 14 satellites. They’re also developing a spaceplane, a launch vehicle that combines the performance of a rocket with the reusability and fleet economics of an aircraft.

About UARX:

UARX Space is a Spanish company providing in-space logistics, rideshare, and dedicated launch services for small satellites from LEO to deep space. UARX space recently opened its 1200m2 satellite integration facility, for the production of their OSSIE OTV, which is launching in June 2025 from Cape Canaveral. OSSIE stands for Orbit Solutions to Simplify Injection and Exploration. As part of the Aerospace Pole of Galicia UARX is bringing the aerospace sector to new regions.


SPHERICAL designs dedicated semiconductors and uses them for electronic subsystems for satellites. By designing semiconductors faster and more efficiently, we can make better systems that are more reliable, easier to control with software, and perform better than competitors.


Source: Dawn Aerospace

Spherical Systems, gevestigd in het Space Business Innovation Center in Noordwijk haalt een investering op van in totaal bijna € 1 miljoen voor de ontwikkeling van een eigen chip die speciaal is ontworpen voor de extreme omstandigheden in de ruimte. Naast UNIIQ investeren drie business angels, durfkapitaalinvesteerders Antler en Graduate Entrepreneur Fund, de Rabobank en hebben ze een Eurostars-subsidie ontvangen. De investering werd bekendgemaakt door Tweede Kamerlid Pim van Strien in Noordwijk.

Spherical Systems

Nieuwe chip voor extreme omstandigheden ruimte

De omstandigheden in de ruimte zijn uiterst extreem, terwijl onderhoud vrijwel onmogelijk is. Het is niet zomaar mogelijk om een monteur de ruimte in te sturen. Het is dus belangrijk dat alles wat gelanceerd wordt, ook blijft werken. Daarom is de productie van extreem betrouwbare onderdelen altijd heel belangrijk geweest. Het probleem is dat deze onderdelen ook heel erg duur zijn, en het business model sinds de space race in de jaren ’60 niet meer is veranderd.

Sinds de opkomst van de commerciële ruimtevaart staat de prijs van alles wat er gelanceerd wordt onder toenemende druk. De klassieke ruimtevaart chips zijn veel te duur, waardoor men inferieure chips gebruikt met de hoop dat deze het net lang genoeg volhouden. Met een slimme architectuur en een moderne ontwerpvisie maakt Spherical Systems chips die daadwerkelijk geschikt zijn voor de ruimte, terwijl deze vele malen goedkoper zijn dan oude space chips. Door deze chips te verwerken in hun eigen systemen, ontwikkelt Spherical Systems systemen voor in de ruimte die vele malen betrouwbaarder zijn voor een vergelijkbare prijs.

Volgende stappen voor Spherical Systems

Spherical Systems heeft nu in totaal bijna € 1 miljoen aan financiering opgehaald. Naast VroegeFaseFinanciering Powered by UNIIQ heeft het ook een investering van drie business angels, durfkapitaalinvesteerders Antler en Graduate Entrepreneur Fund, een lening van de Rabobank en een Eurostars-subsidie ontvangen. Met deze investering kan het bedrijf de eerste eigen chips produceren die speciaal zijn ontworpen voor de extreme omstandigheden in de ruimte. Door deze eigengemaakte chips te integreren in hun systemen, maakt Spherical Systems betrouwbaardere producten voor in de ruimtevaart.

Thomas Parry CEO en oprichter Spherical Systems:

“De vandaag aangekondigde financiering stelt ons in staat om het initiële traject van onze productontwikkeling en teamgroei volledig te financieren. Dit stelt ons in staat om op het wereldtoneel de technische en commerciële relevantie van Spherical te demonstreren. We zijn dankbaar voor de steun van UNIIQ en andere investeerders terwijl we onze baanbrekende aanpak in de industrie opbouwen. We kijken ernaar uit om voort te bouwen op de sterke punten van de regio Zuid-Holland om de strategische mogelijkheden binnen de ruimte- en halfgeleiderindustrieën in de komende tien jaar uit te breiden.”

Spherical Systems

Met deze investeringen kan het bedrijf de eerste iteraties van de chips produceren en de eerste systemen ontwikkelen, om zo toe te werken naar een eerste lancering. Daarnaast kunnen ze hiermee hun eigen chip design tool verder ontwikkelen, om zo steeds meer verschillende chips te blijven maken voor de markt. Het bedrijf verwacht te gaan groeien van 2 naar 6 FTE.

Proof-of-conceptfonds UNIIQ ziet Spherical Systems als een innovatieve toevoeging aan het aerospace cluster in Zuid-Holland. Jasper Geselschap, Fondsmanager van UNIIQ:

“De diepgaande vaardigheden van de founders Thomas Parry en Bastiaan Bom in combinatie met de sterke onderlinge synergie maken een ijzersterk team om SPHERICAL naar de volgende fase te brengen.”


Source: InnovationQuarter

In de ruimtevaart moeten onderdelen extreme omstandigheden kunnen doorstaan. Men kan immers niet even langs om onderhoud te plegen. Met dit in het achterhoofd werken ingenieurs op het scherpst van de snede om het meeste uit de materialen te halen. Met een investering van € 350.000 vanuit VroegeFaseFinanciering powered by UNIIQ kan Arceon haar nieuwe hittebestendige materialen verder ontwikkelen en op de markt brengen, waardoor ingenieurs weer verder kunnen innoveren. De investering is bekendgemaakt door Martijn Leinweber, COO & Community Manager van SBIC Noordwijk.

De Delftse startup Arceon ontwikkelt speciale composieten die tegen extreem hoge temperaturen bestand zijn (>1500 °C). Deze composieten, met o.a. carbon erin verwerkt, zijn ook nog eens veel lichter dan de huidige gebruikte alternatieven, die uit speciale metalen bestaan. De zogenaamde Ceramic Matrix Composites van Arceon kunnen nu dus al goed gebruikt worden in o.a. straalmotoren van satellieten. In de toekomst worden ook toepassingen als hitteschilden voor ruimtevaartuigen, die door de dampkring terug naar aarde komen, mogelijk.

Arceon maakt het produceren van deze CMC’s daarnaast ook nog eens op schaal mogelijk met een aantal innovaties in het productieproces. Aan het roer van Arceon staan founders Rahul Shirke en Rahul Sharma, die specialistische kennis hebben van dit type materialen in de spacesector. Het team wordt versterkt  door de jarenlange ervaring van co-founder Bernhard Heidenreich. Het bedrijf bezit hierdoor al een patent op het in-situ combineren van kleinere subsegmenten van de technologie. Hierdoor kunnen met veel groter gemak, en zonder additionele proces fouten, complexe vormen gemaakt worden door kleinere te combineren. Dit verlaagt niet alleen de doorlooptijd significant, maar maakt ook de kwaliteit beter te beheren. Hierdoor hebben ingenieurs vele malen meer vrijheid in hun ontwerpen.

Met de UNIIQ-investering gaat Arceon een aantal initiële producten op de markt zetten in samenwerking met een aantal pilot- en launchingklanten. Daarnaast gaat het bedrijf toepassingen in andere markten onderzoeken, het team uitbreiden met 3 FTE en benodigde apparatuur in-house halen.

Source: InnovationQuarter

On Monday, May 22, 2023, the Aerospace Delta Agenda 2030 was launched in NEXT Delft, with over 100 representatives from the regional aerospace cluster in attendance. This agenda, developed through comprehensive discussions with key stakeholders, serves as a collaborative action plan, with a particular emphasis on promoting sustainable aviation and fostering the long-term growth of the regional space and drone industry. During the event, the agenda was presented by Jan Terlingen as a representative from the cluster to  Jeannette Baljeu, the regional minister of the Province of Zuid-Holland.

Aerospace Delta Agenda

In collaboration with representatives from the aerospace sector, including knowledge institutions, the aviation manufacturing industry, airport technology and service providers, the space upstream and downstream industries, as well as the drone industry and government bodies, InnovationQuarter developed the agenda. This comprehensive roadmap serves as a regional guide to further strengthen the sector, promote competitiveness, facilitate sustainable growth, and address the specific needs of the aerospace industry. Moreover, it acts as a catalyst for collective action in addressing key societal challenges through the implementation of joint innovation projects.

Download the agenda here.

The agenda provides a comprehensive overview of the Aerospace Delta innovation ecosystem, which encompasses over 260 organizations, six distinct subclusters, and multiple renowned knowledge and educational institutes. By leveraging Zuid-Holland’s primary markets and areas of expertise, the Aerospace Delta agenda fosters collaborative efforts that contribute to addressing significant societal challenges faced by the space, aviation and drone sectors.

Concrete actions for regional advancement

To enhance regional collaboration and strengthen the position of the Zuid-Holland aerospace cluster in international value chains and programs, the creation of a new regional identity and brand, the Aerospace Delta, has been undertaken. Additionally, a total of 22 innovation projects have been meticulously formulated in collaboration with the industry, field labs, and knowledge institutions within the region. These projects are organized into five integrated programs: Sustainable Aviation, Automation & Digital Technology, Advanced Composite Materials, Space-for-Earth, and Aerospace Delta Cluster Development. The cluster representatives are eagerly focused on initiating and successfully executing these 22 projects by 2030, aiming to drive tangible progress and regional advancement.

Engaging Conversations

During the event, two enlightening panel discussions took place, focusing on sustainability and the digital economy in the aerospace industry. The panels included representatives from the Zuid-Holland Aerospace ecosystem and featured Alexander Gunkel from Space4Good and Stephen Hands from Conscious Aerospace. They emphasized the significance of fostering a cooperative regional ecosystem in order to effectively address climate issues through aerospace initiatives. Gus van der Feltz from FSO Instruments and Jeroen Rotteveel from ISISpace shared valuable perspectives on the space and satellite systems under development in the area, discussing the various challenges encountered by the sector.

After the panels, Jeannette Baljeu, the regional minister of the Province of Zuid-Holland, engaged with the audience, delivering concise answers to their questions, expressing the importance of the aerospace sector for the region.

It is very important that the Aerospace Delta innovation ecosystem in Zuid-Holland continues to develop in the coming years. This new Aerospace Delta Agenda 2030 brings focus to the joint challenges, programs and possible projects; also it will help the industry by contributing to sustainability and digital economy. Let’s do that together!

Following the event, the attendees had the opportunity to extend their heartfelt wishes to Bert Klarus, Senior Business Developer Aerospace at InnovationQuarter and the visionary behind the inaugural Aerospace Agenda in 2016. Recognizing his unwavering dedication and invaluable contributions to the regional aerospace cluster, they bid him farewell on his well-deserved retirement, expressing gratitude for his significant role in driving the cluster’s progress.

Please feel free to reach out to Jan Terlingen if you have any inquiries about the Aerospace Delta Agenda 2030, the projects mentioned in the agenda, or if you have a new innovative project idea related to the field of aerospace.

Source: InnovationQuarter

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Conscious Aerospace took an essential step in developing their HAPSS: the Hydrogen Aircraft Propulsion and Storage System. In the hangar, which has been festively inaugurated at Rotterdam The Hague Airport, the young company continues to build this system that powers aircraft with hydrogen. “This hangar allows us to work out the designs on paper in practice,” says CEO Erik Geertsema. “With the ambition of being the first to fly more than 30 passengers over a distance of 750 km on hydrogen by 2028.”

Read the full article on the website of Conscious Aerospace