I just came in here to post this exact question.
You should team up with the Arcen guys, they have more ideas then they know what to do with.
It amazes me how fast they're able to develop their games. Their latest, Bionic Dues, is great by the way, you should check it out if you haven't yet.
Their next game, The Last Federation, is said to be Drox-influenced as it is also has a full 4x game under the hood but it's not played like a typical 4x game.