The MELiSSA consortium has been established by the European Space Agency to carry out a development program of artificial ecosystem designed for regenerative life support systems for terrestrial applications and long-term space missions to lunar bases or flights to Mars featuring technologies that can be broadly classified into:
- Water Treatment and Recycling Technology
- Waste Management and Recyling Technology
- Air Quality and Regeneration Technology
- Food production and Preparation
- Analyzers and Sensory Technology
- Biosafety and Acceptance
- System Analysis and Design
- Life Sciences
Many of these solutions directly impact and present solutions to environmental issues on earth. A few concrete examples of MELiSSA technology spin-offs are listed below:
Resulting from the MELiSSA nitrifying compartment, a new bacterial support has been identified (e.g. BIOSTYR®) in collaboration with the company Veolia (F). More than a billion m3 of wastewater are treated per day, in over 100 towns.
In order to quantify immobilised biomass (i.e. biotechnologies) and/or biomass within sludges, a new biomass sensor has been developed with the company NTE. The world leader of sparkling wine (Frexeinet) is using 20 of these sensors on line. The market has been estimated to 1000 units/year.
The grey water treatment units that have been successfully implemented in the Concordia polar research station, in Antarctica, are another example of a technology transfer success story.