Czech space industry presented at the International Astronautical Congress in Baku
The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is the only annual gathering of the world’s space community. This year, the 74th edition of this unique event was held in Baku, Azerbaijan, and traditionally a large Czech delegation took part. The Czech Republic was represented at the national stand under the banner “Czech Space”, which brought together 15 Czech exhibitors.
The Czech national stand was created thanks to the cooperation of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Baku with the CzechInvest agency and its space incubator ESA BIC Czech Republic, with the financial support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic. Several startups from the ESA BIC Czech Republic incubator (Corac Engineering, Groundcom, icee.space, Stratosyst, World form Space and Zaitra), representatives of the Czech Aerospace Research Centre and the Czech Technical University were present at the Czech Space stand. ATC Space, OHB Czech Space, OteSpace and TRL Space also presented their projects. The Brno Space Cluster, which unites the Brno space community, and the Czech Space Alliance were also present.
“The Czech Republic has traditionally been a respected name in space activities. After all, it is the third country to have sent an astronaut into space. By participating in similar events, the Czech Republic shows that, although it is not a superpower, it remains a recognised, solid and sought-after partner on a global scale. During the International Astronautical Congress here in Baku, the recognition of Czech activities was confirmed, and the Czech stand was highly appreciated by experts and business partners in a challenging international competition. I see the national participation in IAC 2023 as crucial for the development of the new generation of the Czech space industry and the establishment of business relations,” said Milan Sedláček, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Azerbaijan.
The uniqueness of the IAC Congress lies in its complete coverage of the sectors dedicated to space. The programme provides the latest information on developments in research and industry. Participants make new contacts and partnerships and discuss their projects and research. This year’s presentations, technical sessions, meetings and side events were dedicated to the theme “Global Challenges and Opportunities: giving space a chance”.
“We see IAC as an exceptional opportunity to make new contacts, develop new international partnerships and find new customers. During the event we also had the opportunity to meet our existing partners and strengthen our relationships. There is no substitute for face-to-face meetings,” says Marek Marusin of Zaitra.
The congress was attended by 5,404 visitors from 132 countries. The accompanying exhibition featured over 150 exhibitors, including 15 Czech representatives. During the week-long programme, more than 2,000 technical papers were presented and four new Vice-Presidents of the International Astronautical Federation were elected.
“The national stand increases the international visibility of the Czech Republic and gives us credibility as a strong and stable player in the space industry. Thanks to the joint presentation, companies or institutions that would find it too expensive to organise their own stand can also present themselves at the IAC. We can show the world what is being created in the Czech Republic, not only in industry but also in research and development,” says Michal Kuneš, Project Manager at ESA BIC Czech Republic, explaining the importance of the national stand.
This year’s 74th edition was held in the exclusive congress facilities, the Heydar Aliyev Centre, designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid at the Baku Conventional Centre. The next editions of the congress will be held in Milan, Italy in 2024 and in Sydney, Australia in 2025. Antalya, Turkey, was selected by delegates to host the 2026 Congress. The annual change of venue and country ensures the non-repetition of each edition, including the variability of participants, thus widening the field for delegates from all over the world to meet.