Fueling SpaceBuzz | Deloitte Impact Foundation


Fueling SpaceBuzz

Inspiring and teaching children about space, planet Earth and technology, supported by the Deloitte Impact Foundation

Who wouldn’t want to follow in the footsteps of an astronaut? SpaceBuzz has created a VR-based education and outreach program, including a real-life space mission in the SpaceBuzz ”rocket”, visiting schools. It inspires and teaches children through a unique experiential learning program about Space, planet Earth and Technology, and 21st century skills such as communication, problem-solving, collaboration and creativity are important elements within the program. To optimize the children’s learning gains, the latest immersive XR technologies are used and universities are involved in a scientific research program to validate the impact of this new educational approach. André Kuipers is involved both as a co-designer and as an ambassador. Through the Deloitte Impact Foundation, Deloitte colleagues share their expertise to support SpaceBuzz in their mission.

Deloitte’s support for the SpaceBuzz mission

Niels van Eesteren, Consultant within the Financial Advisory department at Deloitte, has been involved with SpaceBuzz from the beginning - two years ago. Niels: ‘SpaceBuzz was on a global mission from the start, so their plan needed to be scalable, nationally adaptable and have an open access approach. That’s challenging, especially for an NGO. I’ve helped SpaceBuzz with creating a business case and model to support them in their global mission right from the start, and helped to translate their financial business plan into something that (non-financial) potential sponsors would understand as well.’

Janine Geijsen, Director SpaceBuzz adds: ‘We are very glad that we could tap into the creative and financial expertise of Niels and his colleagues, who helped us – as an NGO - to speed up our global mission, using commercial start-up insights and implementing elements of an minimum viable product (MVP) approach and in our Research and Development process.’ 

Houston, the SpaceBuzz has landed

Last fall SpaceBuzz was launched globally to 125 astronauts during their Planetary Conference in Houston. It was received with great enthusiasm. The program is now one of the endorsed projects, enhancing the competitive edge of the SpaceBuzz program. Watch their video to find out more!

A new playing field

After the successful launch of SpaceBuzz in the Netherlands, Deloitte professionals Susan Hansen, Thomas Klink and Tijmen Pelleboer from the Global Investment and Innovation Incentives team in Tax & Legal, came flying in. As experts in the field of grants, they were asked to help SpaceBuzz to find extra funding for the scale up and global roll-out. Susan: ‘Usually, we help corporate organisations to find out for which grants they can apply, often in the field of sustainability or innovation. We support these organisations throughout the entire process, from researching which developments or changes they need to make to become eligible for a particular grant, to the actual application’, says Thomas. ‘In the case of SpaceBuzz, we could use our expertise but had to apply it to an entirely new playing field.’ 

Thomas continues: ‘We found that there was a great match between SpaceBuzz and the Erasmus+ grant, but one of the criteria for application was that SpaceBuzz had to partner with organisations in other European countries. We knew that SpaceBuzz had the ambition of launching their format internationally, it just needed to happen really quickly!’ Susan: ‘The challenge was that you can’t just copy and paste the SpaceBuzz program in a different country, it needs to be adjusted to the local educational system. To make an impact on a European scale, we needed to work together with international partners who would take ownership and offer support. Our role was to find out which partners SpaceBuzz would need in the fields of science, innovation and education, and find the best match to create a consortium.’ 

‘We found those partners in Italy, France and Hungary, and together with them, the SpaceBuzz program will be locally adapted as it needs to be developed in regard to educational system, culture, and teaching methods. All to make it the best possible experience for both students and teachers’, Susan says. 

Tijmen: ‘You can look at the application for the grant as a very detailed project description. We helped SpaceBuzz to translate the plan and the vision of the project into the application.’ And with result - the team recently received great news. ‘We have something to celebrate. We have received the news that SpaceBuzz will receive a big grant that they, together with the partners, can spend on the international developments!’ Susan adds, ‘It’s a great feeling’, Tijmen continues, ‘we really feel like we’ve made an impact on the education of children in Europe!’ 

Moving from start-up to scale-up

In the upcoming months the SpaceBuzz program will further scale up both nationally as globally. In the Netherlands, a second rocket will be launched partially solving the current waitinglist (until the end of 2021) for schoolclasses.

Internationally, SpaceBuzz will be introduced in Italy, Hungary and France a first step towards it’s global roll out. The Deloitte Impact Foundation will start to support SpaceBuzz with the continuous development of the business case in the Netherlands and further enhancing scalability and the financial administration as SpaceBuzz is moving from a start-up towards a scale-up. 

The Deloitte Impact Foundation

Through the Deloitte Impact Foundation, Deloitte is committed to bring a positive impact to society. We share our core competences, knowledge and network in societal initiatives to make an impact in the fields of education & employment, sustainability and endurability. Read more about the Deloitte Impact Foundation and view our other initiatives.

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