The first crewed missions to the Moon are planned for 2024 and a permanent autonomous base in 2030. With this prospect in mind, France and Europe must establish a policy to structure and coordinate investments, and to be leaders in lunar NewSpace.
To this end, CNES has created the Moonshot Institute, a forum of public and private stakeholders from inside and outside the space sector aiming to work together to spawn a complete ecosystem—from education to ideation, R&D/R&T and commercialization, and from students and entrepreneurs to start-ups and larger firms—around development of a lunar economy and technologies. The agency signed a letter of intent for this purpose on 23 March with ANRT, the French research and technology association.
TechTheMoon is designed to contribute to R&D/R&T building blocks and commercialization of the Moonshot Institute, by developing an innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem to meet the challenges of establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon and to conceive innovations for and on the Moon with good short-term potential for return on investment on Earth. This intensive 12-month incubation programme will for its first year be accompanying five established or planned start-ups from the early concept phase through to a lunar prototype, including raising of seed funds and commercial launch to meet market needs here on Earth.
A call for candidates is being issued to select the first five projects that will receive support, focusing on infrastructures, resources and life-support systems. The criteria for selection are that the candidate must validate a viable lunar product to be ready within 12 months, propose a viable 12-month terrestrial business model, guarantee full-time availability of the main project proponent and base the start-up in the Occitanie region. Applications must be received no later than 18 July 2021.
Learn more about the project and apply at https://techthemoon.com/
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