Cornelis (Niels) Eldering

Cornelis (Niels) Eldering
Country The Netherlands
Languages Dutch (Native), German (Native), English (Fluent)
Profession Head of the Space Solutions Section at ESA
Organisation European Space Agency (ESA)


Cornelis Eldering (Niels) is Head of the Space Solutions Section within the Innovation and Ventures Office at the European Space Agency. Together with his team, he is responsible for ESA's Space Solutions Network, which comprises of ESA’s Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs), the ESA Technology Transfer broker network and the ESA Business Applications ambassador platform.

Niels was instrumental in the definition and set-up of ESA's business incubation strategy back in 2002 and together with his team he continues to advance Technology Transfer and Business Incubation in Europe. The primary aim of the ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) is to provide support to entrepreneurs who wish to exploit space-based solutions into non-space markets. ESA currently has 20 Business Incubation Centers across its member states and 60 locations where ESA incubation services are offered. This incubation approach has been adopted for similar technology transfer activities by CERN, Fraunhofer and Airbus Defence and Space. Niels has chaired over 100 evaluation boards for start-up company selection and evaluated over 1.800 business cases, including ideas filed for the European Satellite Navigation Competition.

Niels holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), where he in 2003 completed his research on setting up a strategy for the first ESA Business Incubation Centre. Passionately engaged in the challenging process from exploration to exploitation of space technology, he regularly provides keynote presentations on conferences as well as guest lectures such as to the CEMS Master in International Management. In 2015 he received the RSM Distinguished Alumni Award for Senior Leader due to his efforts in creating benefits for society by engaging business and education with space technology. Besides his career at ESA, Niels is currently also a Part-Time PhD student at the RSM department for Technology and Operations Management. 

Niels is living in the Netherlands with his family and working at ESTEC, the European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk.

ESA Innovation & Ventures Office

The main mission of ESA's Innovation and Ventures Office (formerly known as Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office) is to strengthen the competitiveness of European Industry and to demonstrate the additional benefits of the European Space Programme by transferring space technologies and applying satellite infrastructure to non-space products and services. The Innovation and Ventures Office is responsible for defining the overall approach and strategy to meet this mission, including the incubation and funding of start up companies.

European Space Agency's Technology Transfer Programmes Office
The Global Alliance in Management Education
Rotterdam School of Management - Erasmus University Rotterdam


Information for all visitors to ESA sites

Thu, 09 Apr 2020 18:13:00 +0200

Information for all visitors to ESA sites Coronavirus measures for hosted meetings and visitors

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New European rack

Wed, 08 Jul 2020 15:18:00 +0200

Image: After a successful launch aboard the Japanese HTV9 cargo vehicle, a new experiment facility was recently installed in the European laboratory Columbus as part of a comprehensive upgrade of Europe’s International Space Station module.NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (imaged above) manoeuvred the fridge-sized European Drawer Rack Mark 2(EDR2) to its new position. EDR2 is designed to run in parallel with the original European Drawer Rack, providing even greater opportunities for science in space.A feat that would be much more difficult on Earth, installing EDR-2 in weightlessness was not exactly physically taxing, but required careful manoeuvring in the limited space. Watch a video of the installation.EDR2is a flexible experiment facility, able to support a wide range of experiments and technology demonstrators. It supports experiments by providing power, data communication, cooling and nitrogen, and venting waste gasses. The rack is designed to accommodate many types of instruments with different dimensions and masses. EDR2 can even support experiments nearby but not inside the experiment rack, so long as these are hosted inside the Columbus cabin.The first three experiments planned for installation in EDR-2 include a metal 3D printer, an instrument investigating granular materials (VIP-GRAN) and a facility looking into heat transfer.ESA intends to use the 3D printer to produce metal parts through additive manufacturing – a process considered the next important step in building structures and parts in space.The VIP-GRAN experiment will investigate how particles behave in microgravity to understand the underlying physics in detail. This involves looking at how particles jam together as they flow through small openings.The Heat Transfer Host experiment will continue ESA’s investigations into convection – how heat is transferred through air and liquids.EDR-2 arrived to the International Space Station on 20 May on a Japanese HTV-9 cargo vehicle and took the place of the European Transport Carrier (ETC); having served its time as a workbench and stowage facility, ETC was transferred to the HTV 9 spacecraft and will now be trashed.The EDR-2 and most of its experiments and technology demonstrators will be operated fromCADMOS, the French User Support Operations Centre located in Toulouse, France.

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