- Press Release
- Sep 21, 2023
Boryung Partners with Axiom Space and Aurelia Institute to Launch the “2023 Humans In Space” Program
Boryung, South Korea’s leading healthcare investment company, has launched a global space initiative called “Humans In Space” together with Axiom Space (the only commercial company leveraging the ISS to build the world’s first commercial space station, Axiom Station) and Aurelia Institute (nonprofit spinoff from MIT Space Exploration Initiative) as co-hosts. The Humans In Space program aims to foster an ecosystem of innovative minds working to advance human activities in space. The program will kick start with the Challenge launch in May, followed by the Symposium in late October.
The Humans In Space Challenge is a global competition for researchers and innovators from relevant fields. Based on the three carefully selected themes — “Human Healthcare,” “Human Lifestyle” and “Human Place” — participants will identify various challenges faced by humanity in space and propose solutions to address them. The Challenge winners will be awarded investments and research awards alongside opportunities to participate in tailored mentorship programs led by space experts and engage with an expansive network of prominent venture capitals, space agencies, national research institutions and industries. Renowned space figures from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Stanford University will actively engage in the evaluation process and mentorship programs to support the growth of Challenge applicants.
“We are thrilled by the overwhelming support and enthusiasm received from our esteemed global partners as we forge a collaborative global space ecosystem. Together with our partners, we will be exploring diverse avenues to nurture and advance groundbreaking ideas that safeguard and elevate human existence both in space and on our precious Earth,” stated Jack Dongjoo Lim, Head of Boryung’s New Portfolio Investment (NPI) Group. “In synergy with our esteemed partners, Boryung remains steadfast in realizing its profound vision of becoming an indispensable force in interplanetary civilization,” added Lim.
“At this particularly exciting moment in humanity’s evolution into a spacefaring species, it’s more important than ever that we foster a global community of interdisciplinary leaders and visionaries for space health,” said Ariel Ekblaw, CEO of Aurelia Institute. “We are proud to partner with Boryung and Axiom in this endeavor, and eager to see the new ideas the applicants will bring to the Humans In Space Challenge.”
The Challenge will be concluded at the grand Humans In Space Symposium where awardees will be selected by a panel of esteemed judges. The Symposium will also bring together innovators, experts, investors and government agencies, and will facilitate discussions and networking opportunities to advance the global space ecosystem.
“We believe it’s important to engage people around the world to help us develop innovative solutions for the challenges in space and how space affects the human body”, said Dr. Lucie Low, Axiom Space Chief Scientist for Microgravity Research. “Together Boryung, Aurelia Institute and Axiom Space are working to conduct meaningful science in space for the benefit of all and through the Humans In Space Challenge we aim to contribute to our growing knowledge of ourselves and our place in the universe.”
Boryung has been actively pioneering advancements in space healthcare since 2022. Through the inaugural Care In Space Challenge, Boryung invested in six startups focused on space healthcare. Building upon the previous year’s success, this year’s program aims to amplify the scale and broaden the themes of the Care In Space Challenge.
While the 2022 Challenge focused on securing healthcare technologies for individuals residing in space, Humans In Space now covers a much more expanded scope of research and development to encompass everyday elements as well as the utilization of space environments for applications on Earth. To achieve this goal, Boryung has introduced two additional agenda’s alongside “Healthcare”, namely “Lifestyle” and “Platform” in space.
Continuing from last year, Boryung will lead the “Healthcare” aspect, seeking to discover transformative space health technologies and research. Aurelia Institute will explore various solutions under the theme “Lifestyle,” building upon years of internal research on making humanity a space-faring species. Axiom Space, a pioneering company expanding access to space and enabling more nations, individuals, researchers, and organizations to work in microgravity for the betterment of humanity, will lead the “Platform” agenda. This partnership signifies a deepened bond between Axiom Space and Boryung, following their agreement to form a joint venture last month.
Axiom Space recently succeeded in the launch of Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2), its second all private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission spanned over eight days and consisted of a series of over 20 experiments centered on human health and the Earth’s atmospheric conditions. Notably, Saudi Arabia made history through this mission by sending astronauts to space for the first time since 1985, marking a gap of 38 years. It also became the first Arab country to send a female astronaut and, as a nation that had not previously participated in the construction of the ISS, it set a record by having two astronauts aboard the ISS simultaneously. The mission also involved engagement with 12,000 students, which further highlights Saudi Arabia’s dedication to nurturing the next generation’s interest in space exploration
Applications for the 2023 Humans In Space Challenge will be open from May 23 to July 28. After a series of evaluations, the semi-finalists who will be presenting at the Virtual Pitch event will be announced early August. Finalists who will be presenting at the Symposium will be selected during the Virtual Pitch event, which will be held early September. These finalists will be mentored by esteemed industry leaders prior to their live pitch in the Symposium, where the final awardees will be selected. The Humans In Space Symposium is scheduled to take place in late October in the U.S. More information on the Humans In Space Challenge and Symposium can be found at www.careinspace.com.
Boryung is a healthcare investment company founded in 1957 and headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. Following the company’s mission to become an indispensable contributor to human health, the company has expanded their business portfolio to the space healthcare industry. Recognizing space as a new realm for growth, Boryung acknowledges the increasing number of individuals anticipated to embark on prolonged space missions, highlighting the importance of ensuring human survival in the hostile space environment. Hence, the company believes there will be substantial opportunities to foster new technologies and meet the emerging needs in this field.
About Axiom Space
Axiom Space is building history, guided by the vision of a thriving home in space that benefits every human, everywhere. The leading provider of human spaceflight services and developer of human-rated space infrastructure, Axiom Space operates end-to-end missions to the International Space Station today while developing its successor, Axiom Station – a permanent commercial destination in low-Earth orbit that will sustain human growth off the planet and bring untold benefits back home.
About Aurelia Institute
Aurelia Institute is a nonprofit space architecture R&D lab, education and outreach center, and policy hub dedicated to building humanity’s future in space. At the cusp of humanity’s next metamorphosis into a spacefaring species, Aurelia Institute offers near-term innovation in habitat design and open access community-building and workforce development through our annual program of zero-g flights and orbital technology demonstrations. Together with Aurelia Foundry, the Aurelia ecosystem supports development and investment in next-gen space tech that will improve access and contribute to a life worth living in space. Aurelia aims to develop the infrastructure, technologies, markets, and policies that will help us scale humanity’s horizons from early space stations in LEO to the fullness of a principled interplanetary civilization, while profoundly benefiting life on Earth.