Guest: Dr. Ioana Cozmuta; Topics: Gravity-Free Consulting, G-Space, Inc, microgravity manufacturing, cislunar space, value added space development, NewSpace economic development and more.
Dr. Ioana Cozmuta is the Managing Partner of Gravity Free Consulting (https://gravity-free.com/) and CEO of G-Space Inc (https://www.zerogspace.com), two small, women-owned businesses. These two portfolio companies are a reflection of Dr. Cozmuta’s driving passions: (1) to discover new revenue opportunities and help accelerate the time to market building on New Space (2) to discover new materials by liberating the potential design space from the limiting effects of the gravitational force.
Dr. Cozmuta’s work at the confluence of Space and Earth is based on a nineteen years career in academia, at NASA and in the start-up world uniquely combining expertise in physics, computational chemistry and materials research; data science and space technology with business and entrepreneurship. From her early work in nanotechnology research to engineering projects for missions such as Hypersonics, Stardust, Mars Science Laboratory, Orion and the International Space Station commercialization, dr Cozmuta has built a legacy on transforming the status quo, opening new avenues for innovation and devoting her energy, enthusiasm and collaborative spirit to advance the new space entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Dr. Cozmuta holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands and is an alumni of Caltech and Stanford.
Dr. Cozmuta has strong ties with Caltech as a former post-doc in materials and computational chemistry and an ongoing collaborator of prof. William Goddard’s Material and Process Simulation Center (http://www.wag.caltech.edu/). She is also an alumnus of Stanford University where she was a post-doc in the Genome Technology Center.
One of the most notable things in New Space is dr. Cozmuta’s work under the Emerging Space Office commissioned by NASA HQ between 2012-2016 to perform a thorough technical, economic and business assessment of microgravity investigations to identify commercialization gaps and recommend investment areas to spur LEO commercialization. By creating the concept of Microgravity Verticals, dr. Cozmuta was the first to identify industry-specific infusion points for microgravity and space technology by connecting the dots between the industry roadmaps with emerging New Space developments.
Dr. Cozmuta has reviewed the breadth of the ISS database microgravity investigations, particularly in material and life science, identified existing gaps on the path from science to application to commercialization, developed effective means of communicating the story, and advocated for new areas of support and innovation. Her pioneering work outlines pragmatic opportunities to move polluting manufacturing off the surface of the earth and directly leverage on microgravity and other space advantages (vacuum, ultra low temperature, solar power, etc) as highlighted by talks such as TedEx Future Spoiler, “Look beyond our world of origin to understand our future”, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlsGhC3G1d8 ), SETI invited lecture “Microgravity the future of manufacturing”, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT9pEFE9pBA) and TechSylvania keynote presentation “Innovation at the Edge of Space” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdz6V1cr8KY ) and popular science contributions such as “Microgravity: The Future of Innovation” feature article in the NANO-scientific Journal (http://nano-scientific.org/fall2015/ ) and “The Factories of the Future could float in space” online contribution to Popular Science (http://www.popsci.com/factories-in-space#page-6 ).
The current resurgence of ZBLAN in NASA’s LEO commercialization is a direct result of dr. Cozmuta’s previous work (Exotic Optical Fibers and Glasses: Innovative Material Processing Opportunities in Earth’s Orbit, New Space J., 2017- https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/space.2017.0016).
Upon leaving NASA in 2018, Dr. Cozmuta continued to deepen her knowledge and hands-on expertise of HMFG actively working with prof. Marcel Poulain, the discoverer of HMFG, spending a significant amount of time on site at Le Verre Fluore (https://leverrefluore.com/) to develop a mastery of the material from theory and manufacturing to application-specific product commercialization, challenges of the marketplace (Breaking the silica ceiling: ZBLAN-based opportunities for photonics applications, SPIE, 2020 - https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/conference-proceedings-of-spie/11276/112760R/Breaking-the-silica-ceiling--ZBLAN-based-opportunities-for-photonics/10.1117/12.2542350.short?SSO=1 ) and broadened her understanding of the real challenges and opportunities of current space manufacturing.