Why Invest?

Today, the commercial space sector is booming. Tomorrow, larger crews, satellite constellations and robots will populate new orbits and planets. However, space radiation is currently the most limiting factor for long-distance space travel. It poses the biggest threat to human health and on-board systems, possibly putting a halt to it.

 

EMTDLAB, The Emerging Technology Development Laboratory, a venture with a systemic vision, has developed a proprietary materials informatics (“M.I.”) method to discover entirely new materials that will protect spacecraft’s, their crews and on-board electronics from harmful space radiation.

The venture tackles and solves a significant pain point, targeting a narrow activity domain – materials informatics for space exploration. EMTDLAB is tailoring its services and products to the needs of the New Space Industry to the exclusion of incumbents, who haven’t grasped that a new generation of advanced materials is to be designed by computer.

 

EMTDLAB addresses four market segments – space agencies, private aerospace companies, radiation-hardened electronics manufacturers and COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) components suppliers in three key regions – North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. The company services and product mix translate into 14 specific offerings, targeting a total market value of 3.9bn €.

 

The venture’s strategy is to offer a product that has been needed since 1958, when space radiation was discovered, and that can be sold in the market at premium prices. EMTDLAB does this while relying on lean capital expenditures and taking advantage of advances in 3D printing. Already at an early stage EMTDLAB’ strategy has met with success, as confirmed by (i) an early adopter interested in co-creating a product for its space station and on-board electronics shielding, (ii) a competitor offering to upsell EMTDLAB products, complementing their own solutions and, (iii) an online platform willing to distribute EMTDLAB’ Minimum Viable Product (see below).

 

Today, EMTDLAB is thirty months away from delivering its Minimum Viable Product to the market: smart shields for spacecraft electronics. The venture projects to reach profitability within three years. Early-stage revenues will be generated from 2022, relying on in-house competencies.

The venture is now at a turning point where a 1.5 M USD private capital injection, in combination with 2.7 M USD of obtained funding from a Space Agency, will keep EMTDLAB ahead of the competition and enable the venture to seize the window of opportunity created by the New Space sector for the next decades.

 

EMTDLAB’ plan relies on three years of R&D foundations (2018-2020), a defendable international patenting strategy (2020), and a network of industrial capabilities developed by the founder (2004-2021). However, the current core team is and will be the main reason of success, building upon 18 years of experience in successful high-tech start-ups and corporations.

EMTDLAB is at the forefront of the development of Key Enabling Technologies through its breakthrough research and innovation in advanced manufacturing, advanced materials and artificial intelligence. EMTDLAB integrates the fast and comprehensive changes in science and technology that are currently transforming the New Space economy, generating new markets, and developing new space exploration capabilities.

 

Value proposition 

 

Develop and manufacture materials for high-performance radiation shielding combined with high structural performance; market those materials to aerospace companies, space agencies, and space electronics manufacturers. Create leadership in this niche market, based on novel computer methods in the field of materials informatics and high-throughput manufacturing; today for the New Space Sector, tomorrow for the entire spectrum of structurally resistant engineering materials.

 

Problem Overview

 

Outer space radiation causes a high risk of cancer & multiple diseases to astronauts. Radiation reduces satellite battery life and causes on-board electronics to burn. This will effectively prevent the space exploration ambitions of space agencies and private launchers from happening. On Earth, radiation caused by electro-magnetic pulses, nuclear energy management and healthcare applications drive the need for new solutions using M.I. materials design for radiation shielding.

 

Absence of Real Industry Solutions

 

EMTDLAB research has shown that there are currently no direct effective solutions to shield humans and electronics from space radiation. Existing radiation shielding is indirect (mass that is already on board; limited range and costly radiation-hardened components) and not effective (degrading or harmful materials due to secondary radiation, additional weight, doubling or tripling of electronic circuits). Moreover, our research shows that the space radiation problem has been minimized by the incumbents since the beginning of space exploration. The current booming of commercial space requires new capabilities of materials  and to bring radiation to an ALARA level (as low as reasonably achievable).

 

Technology Breakthrough

 

Materials science remains a complicated matter, and even with the growing insights in physics and chemistry, with excellent computer systems and related methods for tackling material science challenges, and with especially advanced uses against radiation shielding, the efficacy of such uses has not been demonstrated until now. 

EMTDLAB’ technology value proposition is the use of Materials Informatics to perform a systematic search for materials with optimal radiation shielding properties.

 

The current knowledge in this field only tackles a limited part of the radiation problem, for limited material classes (aluminium, polyethylene for spacecraft, limited component libraries for integrated circuits), and these existing materials and indirect solutions are not scalable to the current ambitions of space exploration. EMTDLAB’ method and future materials solutions are scalable to meet the demand, and can be deployed globally and with high throughput manufacturing.

 

EMTDLAB’ successful approach relies on the integration of existing silo-working knowledge (computational chemistry, metallurgy, spacecraft engineering, computational intelligence and mathematics among others) from different fields (particle physics, aeronautics, materials science, and informatics) and combining this knowledge into a solution that fulfils the needs of aerospace engineers.

 

 

The Business under Development

 

Beyond the aerospace industry and the radiation problem, the Materials Informatics platform developed by EMTDLAB will lead to new Key Enabling Technologies for Industry 4.0. Today M.I. primarily exists in the scientific field with a limited number of commercial players applying the methods to solve industry problems. However, none are focused on the radiation problem. EMTDLAB brings M.I. from the scientific field to the engineering field, focusing only on customer-centric radiation solutions. Currently, EMTDLAB’ M.I. platform focuses on optimising space radiation shielding, structural performance of materials used in spacecraft and several other related target properties. In the future, the chemical optimisation and mechanical modelling of the structure of materials, as a computer-implemented method, will evolve into a materials design platform of a larger spectrum, with applications in semi-conductors, building materials, nuclear energy, and healthcare.

 

Founder Short Bio

 

The founder is CEO and Head of Systems Engineering at EMTDLAB.  As a Bachelor and Master in Science, combined with an Engineering Degree, the founder drives the venture based on his passion for space exploration, his knowledge in advanced materials and 17 years of experience in leading start-ups & corporations.  The founder got acquainted very early with electronics and chemistry and worked in numerous technical roles, even prior to graduation, such as miniaturised particles accelerators and carbon nanotubes synthesis.

After graduation, the founder worked on new building materials and clean-tech, and took on a role  as special Project Manager for the CFO and CTO of a world leading advanced materials company covering 14 advanced materials business units; he also worked as technology innovation consultant, became CTO and co-CEO of a biotechnology venture, co-invented a nanotechnology-based diagnostic device and taught R&D performance management at the European Industrial Research Management Association. The founder turned his passion for space exploration into an actual R&D project by starting the Space Radiation Protection Technology project – SRPT. In the meantime, he obtained six university certifications in aerospace, engineering, research and materials data science as part of a continuous learning effort. Currently, the founder leverages the work of five other team members in the field of particle physics, computational intelligence, IP, Business and Finance.

 

 

[1] Global markets sizes are extracted from external market valuation reports.