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SFF MOONSHOT SUMMIT Munich 2023 - Review & Impressions

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At the SFF Moonshot Summit 2023 on November 30th and December 01st decision-makers from science, business, politics and start-ups from European innovation ecosystems came together. As part of the innovative "Moonshot" format, the participants from the Start for Future Innovation Network (SFF) worked on developing impactful solutions to forward-looking issues in the fields of mobility, energy, healthcare, manufacturing and regenerative economy. Around 300 guests from a total of 25 universities, 12 incubators from various international ecosystems and 30 companies took part in the two-day Moonshots.

Below you will find a selection of a few highlights and snapshots from this two-day conference that can be viewed on video. This was the program schedule.

Take the chance and be part of the Start for Future Alliance as an individual and register (free) on the SFF community platform.

Highlights in the “Recap Video DAY 1” - November 30th

Capture:  On day 1 the 10 moonshots in 5 European megatrend topics are starting. (c) SFF

How can we develop innovative answers to the most challenging questions in the fields of mobility, energy, healthcare, manufacturing and the regenerative economy? "Together as a team, interdisciplinary, cross-regional and Europe-wide" - that is Start for Future's (SFF) answer to this question. 

The third summit took place in Munich for the first time in the innovative moonshot format. Moonshots are outstanding projects that set themselves seemingly unattainable goals, are characterized by particular innovative strength and focus on long-term success. Maria Tsavachidis, CEO EIT Urban Mobility, also emphasized how important this is in the mobility sector:

"We are currently at an important turning point in urban mobility. We need to think about the world from the future and we need to become even more sustainable in order to be fit for the future. Networking for joint action plays a decisive role here, as does the involvement and addressing of future generations, for example in the form of students and talents." 
Maria Tsavachidis, CEO EIT Urban Mobility

Capture: Maria Tsavachidis, CEO EIT Urban Mobility at the SFF Moonshot Summit (c) SFF

Capture: Panel - European Cross-border Projects that Matter: From Thought to Action. From left to right: EIT Urban Mobility CEO: Maria Tshavachidis; EIT Manufacturing Director: Paola Fantini; MAN Executive Board Member Logistics: Michael Kobriger; Nio Group Director Public Affair, Harry Rogasch; ChargeX Founder: Tobias Wagner, SFF Cooperative Executive Manager: Pavlina Vujovic, Moderator Riad Mannan. (c) SFF

Think Lunar, Act Global.
Why we need a Moonshot Mindset.

Moonshot Thinking helps to unravel our creative potential for the crises ahead. But what is it and how to work with it? One major insight for humanity after making its way to the moon was in fact a metaphorical shoulder check. Once up in space, the view back to earth revealed the famous ‘Blue Marble,’ which initiated the global environmental movement. It is this stance to Moonshot Thinking that we want to adapt: Think Lunar, Act Global.

Capture: Moonshot Thinking with speculative design methods. Full article by Dr. Sebastian Planck, Head of SCE Research

On Day I we travelled with 10 teams of 15–20 astronauts, well not literally to the moon, but at least in time. By using speculative design methodologies, we pushed our participants out of their time-(and comfort)zone to help them to think big and beyond the status quo.

Through methods from speculative design such as signals, futures cones, and futures probes, participants explored the fields of mobility, energy, regenerative and circular economy and manufacturing from the perspective of 2043. Here you can check out full article & workshop report from the SFF Moonshot Summit Munich 2023 by Sebastian Planck, Head of SCE Research.

As host, we are very happy with the success of the summit, which has provided important inspiration for further innovation and transfer to the regional economy as well as to the entire European ecosystem. This demonstrates just how well universities can work together in an application-oriented manner across sectors by facilitating discussions that address highly relevant issues.”
Prof. Dr. Thomas Stumpp, Vice President of Economics at HM


A further 350 students and start-ups attended our getSTARTed Experience Day event for first-year students and for those interested in entrepreneurship and attended the Strascheg Award ceremony. The Award is the ideas competition of the HM and SCE, which was awarded in four categories for innovative business ideas in 2023 . The winners were chosen from 28 nominated ideas. 
For the second time the award was granted for international project teams and start-ups coming from the Start for Future Alliance. Many thanks to all participants for their exciting submissions and congratulations to the winners and nominees of the evening! The winners can look forward to prize money of €35,000. The Strascheg Award is sponsored by the Renate and Falk Strascheg Foundation!
These are the winners and nominees.

“WRAP UP VIDEO DAY 2” - December 01st

After a very energetic Day 1, Day 2 continued with the same energy, bringing the moonshot workshops to a close.​ This day was all about realtime Co-creation and networking, including the final presentations. Check out the DAY 2 recap video here

Capture: Paola Maria Fantini, Director EIT Manufacturing at the Summit. (c)SFF

Special thanks for the interviews in the videos go to:

  • Valentin Aschermann (The Ventury)
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Stumpp (Vice President Hochschule München)
  • Maria Tsavachidis,(CEO EIT Urban Mobility)
  • Tobias Wagner (ChargeX)
  • Christoph Tippel (BWF Group)
  • Tony Walker (Queens University Belfast)
  • Paola Maria Fantini (EIT Manufacturing),
  • Roland Pültz (Heeschen Pültz Patentanwälte PartGmbB),
  • Prof. Dr. Tomasz Skica (University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow, Poland),
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Sailer (Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship),
  • Dr. Ester Bernadó (Tecnocampus),
  • Pavlina Vujović (Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship),
  • Jerke Verschoor (The Hague University of Applied Sciences), Margot Vanden Bossche (Arteveldehogeschool),
  • Prof. Dr. Katerina Pramatari (Athens University of Economics and Business),
  • Dr. Stratos Baloutsos (Athens University of Economics and Business)
  • and Riad Mannan for moderating both Days!

"We are particularly pleased with how well the cooperation within the SFF network is working," says Prof. Dr. Klaus Sailer, CEO of the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship at Hochschule München. "The Moonshot Summit has generated new partnerships that can now prove in the further development of the pilot projects that they have the potential to help shape the future of European industry."

A big THANK YOU to all workshop hosts, partners and participants for embarking on this journey and co-creating a better future for Europe. Looking forward to joining next time? Then mark your agenda for the SFF Summit 2024 "Athenian Nexus" to take place on May 16-17 in Athens! Stay tuned!