Head of Innovation & Ventures
European Space Agency
As Head of Innovation and Ventures Office, Frank is overseeing the largest Space Entrepreneurship network in the world. His team has initiated over 320 industry transfers, supported over 750 start ups and invested over 45 Million Euro in seed money since started. He supports the exploitation of the ESA patent portfolio and promotes the ESA BA (Business Applications) offer of ESA. To date over 500 business cases have been supported.
Prior to this post he was the Head of Technology Transfer and Business Incubation and Head of the Commercial Development in the European Astronaut Department of the Directorate of Human Spaceflight Microgravity and Exploration at the European Space Agency.
Before joining ESA, Frank held the position of Founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO and CFO) for an IT start-up, headquartered in Munich, Germany. The company was merged with CANCOM SA.
Frank also spent seven years at Apple Computer as an account and sales manager, responsible for Central Europe. He was positioned in Germany, the US and the 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 several advisory boards of venture capital funds, international cooperations and start-up companies. He is also a member of the board of directors of the European Business Network (EBN) and the EBAN (European Business Angel Network) Space.
Frank holds a degree in Industrial Engineering, is married, has two sons and lives in the Netherlands and Bavaria.
The Innovation and Ventures office aims to strengthen the European competitiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship, and plays an important role in enhancing the capabilities of the European Industry, while broadening its business horizons and creating jobs, foster growth and investment. It works with all leading industry fields but also with government and start-ups.
The successful framework has been adopted by CERN, Fraunhofer, Airbus Defence and Space, other Space Agencies as well as the government of Singapore.
This year his team will continue to support 200 new start-ups through over 20 ESA Business Incubation Centres in over 60 locations across Europe. The ESA BICs and the ESA BA have created over 5000 new jobs. This team will bring Space back to earth and start-ups into orbit.