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The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. Hungary started to cooperate with ESA as the first Eastern-European country back to 1991, and became a full ESA member as of November 4, 2015.
Johann-Dietrich Wörner, ESA Director General
Johann-Dietrich ‘Jan’ Wörner became the ESA Director General on 1 July 2015. Previously, from March 2007 to June 2015, he served as Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Jan Wörner was born in Kassel, Germany, in 1954. He studied civil engineering at the Technical University (TU) Berlin and TU Darmstadt, from where he graduated in 1985. In 1982, as part of his studies, he spent one year in Japan, investigating earthquake safety of nuclear power plants. Until 1990, Mr. Wörner worked for consulting civil engineers König und Heunisch. In 1990 he returned to TU Darmstadt, where he was appointed as a professor of Civil Engineering and took over as Head of the Test and Research Institute. Before being elected as President of TU Darmstadt in 1995, he held the position of Dean of the newly established Civil Engineering Faculty. Jan Wörner was head of the university from 1995 to 2007 and succeeded in making it the first autonomous university of the Federal Republic of Germany. Jan Wörner has been awarded numerous prizes and positions, such as the Prize of the Organisation of Friends of Technical University Darmstadt for ‘outstanding scientific performance’. He was also appointed to the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and to the Convention for Technical Sciences (acatech) and is a representative of the Technical Sciences Section of the Leopoldina, the national academy of sciences of Germany. Jan Wörner has received honorary doctorates from New York State University at Buffalo (USA), technical universities of Bucharest (Romania) and Mongolia, the Saint Petersburg University for Economics and Finance (Russia) and École Centrale de Lyon (France). He has received the Federal Cross of Merit (Officer's cross, 1st class) of the Federal Republic of Germany for his continuous efforts regarding the next generation of scientists and Germany as a location for Science, Technology and Engineering. He has furthermore been awarded the honours of Knight of the French Légion d’Honneur. Jan Wörner was Vice President of the Helmholtz Association as well as a member of various national and international supervisory bodies, advisory councils and committees. He was a member of the administrative boards of École Centrale Paris, École Centrale de Lyon, TU Berlin, the Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, the Arts and Music University in Frankfurt and has been a member of a number of supervisory boards including Carl Schenck AG, Röhm GmbH, TÜV Rheinland AG and Bilfinger SE. Furthermore, he was appointed to the energy expert group of the German Government. Before joining ESA as Director General, Jan Wörner was head of the German delegation to ESA from 2007 to 2015 and served as Chairman of the ESA Council from 2012 to 2014.
Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office European Space Agency
Mr. Frank M. Salzgeber is the Head of the Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office at the European Space Agency (ESA). Prior to this post he was the Head of Commercial Development in the European Astronaut Department of the Directorate of Human Spaceflight Microgravity and Exploration at the European Space Agency. Prior to joining ESA, Frank held the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO and CFO) at an IT start-up headquartered in Munich, Germany, between 2000 and 2003, which he merged with CANCOM SA. Frank also spent seven years at Apple Computer (1993 – 2000) initially as an account manager and then as a sales manager, covering Central Europe and being positioned in the US and Czech Republic. Being genuinely passionate about the importance of human space flight and the European Space Programme, Frank believes that ‘a society that stops exploring stops progressing’. Frank is a member of the advisory board of the Triangle Venture Capital Group, the boards of directors of European Business Network (EBN) and was founding chairman of the EIROforum (CERN, EFDA-JET, EMBL, ESA, ESO, ESRF, European XFEL and ILL) working group on Innovation management and knowledge /technology transfer. Frank holds a degree in Industrial Engineering, is married, has two sons and lives in the Netherlands and Bavaria. The main mission of the Technology Transfer Programme Office, is to inspire and facilitate the use of space technology, systems and know-how for non-space applications. The office aims to strengthen the European competitiveness, and plays an important role in enhancing the capabilities and of the European industry, while broadening its business horizons and creating jobs for its citizens. In his role, Frank supported over 320 interdisciplinary technology transfers and initiated over 600 new start-ups in the last 10 years through the ESA BIC Programme. This successful framework has been adopted by CERN, Fraunhofer and Airbus Defence and Space. This year his team has supported and will continue to power 150 new start-ups yearly through the international network of 18 ESA Business Incubation Centres across Europe.