About the European Space Agency (ESA)

The European Space Agency is a Paris-based, independent international organisation dedicated to the exploration of space and its utilisation in non-space areas, being a major player in the European space politics. Hungary started to cooperate with ESA as the first Eastern-European country back in 1991, and became a full ESA member as of November 4, 2015.

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).

Johann-Dietrich ‘Jan’ Wörner
ESA Director General

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. 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’.

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 is the Head of the Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office at the European Space Agency (ESA). Prior 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.

Frank M. Salzgeber
Head of Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office (ESA)

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’s believes that ‘a society that stops exploring stops progressing’.

Frank is a member of the innovation advisory board of STFC, the boards of directors of European Business Network (EBN), 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 and he is board member of the EBAN Space.

The main mission of the Technology Transfer and Business Incubation 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 550 new start-ups in the last 10 years through the ESA BIC Programme and invested over 30 Mio Euro in start-ups. He runs the world biggest space related entrepreneurship network of the world. This successful framework has been adopted by CERN, Fraunhofer and Airbus Defence and Space.