The Middletown USEAC launched its International Space Trade Summit May 19-21, 2019 in Hartford, CT. This event, focused on the “Five Eyes” nations of the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, provided immense impact for the attending companies. Co-sponsored by the Middletown USEAC, CT DEC, and Congressman Joe Courtney (CT2), the International Space Summit’s aim was to apprise manufacturers of opportunities in the space sector and provide introductions to space agencies, primes, and defense agencies involved in this sector. The dense agenda included plenary sessions with five international space agencies, four international defense agencies, and the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Space Commerce. Additionally 18 breakout sessions were offered with space agencies, prime contractors, and an export compliance series. Concurrent to these breakout sessions, B2B and B2G meetings were offered. The space summit was kicked off with remarks from retired Connecticut astronaut Dan Burbank and the program showcased an impressive list of speakers, including: Melanie Saunders, NASA’s Acting Deputy Associate Administrator; Major General John E. Shaw, Deputy Commander, Air Force Space Command; Brigadier General Kevin Whale, Director General & Joint Force Component Commander for Space (Royal Canadian Air Force); Alison Petchell, Minister Counselor for Defence Materiel (Australia); Wing Commander Graham Streatfield, Assistance Defence Attaché (New Zealand); Kevin O’Connell, Director, Office of Space Commerce (US Department of Commerce). Attending OEMs included Collins Aerospace (event sponsor), Airbus, Boeing, General Dynamics, L3, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and United Launch Alliance.
During the day and a half Space Summit, 18 breakout sessions were held and 184 prescheduled B2B/B2G meetings occurred. There were 175 attendees from 15 US states and companies from Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. A few special touches were organized during the summit. The main attraction at the event was a NASA space suit from Collins Aerospace on full display. Additionally, NASA’s Melanie Saunders met with several female STEM students from the Wallingford, CT school system to discuss her experiences working for NASA, space programs and opportunities in the five eyes countries, as well as the career possibilities for females with a STEM background. During the networking reception at the Connecticut Science Center’s space exhibit, retired astronaut Dan Burbank presented the CT Science Center with a Connecticut flag that had spent time on the moon during one of his previous missions. A great touch to cap off an impressive event! Finally, following the program, offsite visits to Collins Aerospace, CT Center for Advanced Technology, and University of Connecticut were arranged for the Australian and UK delegations.
Immediate feedback from the program has been extremely positive. One company remarked, “First, Outstanding event this week. As usual you and your team put on a well-organized program which was relevant and attended by all the key players. It was a helpful program to us. Thanks for the invite and also thanks for arranging the media coverage of Swift.” Press coverage of the program included several local tv stations and newspapers, NPR, as well as social media notices by UTC, Kaman, CohnReznick and Robinson + Cole.