Estonia together with European Space Agency will launch the first space incubation program in Baltics

06.11.2017

The European Space Agency´s Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) Estonia is the 17th to be open and the first one in the Baltics, joining the European-wide network, which has fostered the creation of more than 140 startups each year across the Europe.

The ESA Business Incubation Centre´s goal is to create jobs and develop regional economies via the ESA BICs programme. The incubation programme turns space-connected business ideas into commercial companies and provides technical expertise and business-development support.

“Through our Technology Transfer Programme with its Business Incubation Centres we have already helped to create over 500 new companies with many new jobs in Europe, by spinning off Europe’s investments in space research and development and making them available to entrepreneurs. We promote progress and growth across Europe by making our knowledge and technology available to be used beyond space, and we are happy that Estonia joins with this new centre. Estonian companies have been cooperating with ESA for 5 years, and have demonstrated excellent space capabilities and potential for developing services and applications from space-related technologies.” said Johann-Dietrich Wörner, ESA Director General.

„From the first Estonian Satellite project – ESTCube-1, nearly 10 years ago, the Estonian Space sector has always moved forward fast. The opening of ESA BIC Estonia is a next big milestone for us. As Estonia is known for start-ups and a digital society, ESA BIC Estonia will combine space technologies with our already existing digital society to create more value on both sides. Combining our existing e-services with Earth observation data and satellite navigation services is the next step forward. Also it will be a platform where engineers and scientists can create novel products or services using space technologies,“ said Urve Palo, Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.

  

Andrus Kurvits, Manager of ESA BIC Estonia, pointed out that the opening of ESA Business Incubation Centre Estonia is one small step for ESA, but a giant leap for Estonia and for Estonian startup scene. “We expect craziest solutions and most creative teams and start-ups,” said Kurvits.

The implementation and the ongoing management of ESA BIC Estonia will be led by the Tartu Science Park in cooperation with the Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol and the activities will be in both cities.

„Each year we are helping around 45 tech companies to reach a sustainable income or first private funding. More and more we see companies who are developing space related technologies and together with ESA we can offer them incentive funding up to 50 000 euros for product development and specific know how and mentoring, so 20 Estonian startups over 5 years could also reach to international arena. Today we are launching the first permanent open call for incubation programme in Estonia, so all space-related amazing ideas could come to life,“ said Tehnopol´s Startup Incubator Manager Martin Goroško.

In 2009 Estonia started cooperation with ESA, so Estonian companies and research institutions could participate in ESA´s projects for the first time. In 2015 Estonia became a full member of ESA, which provided completely new opportunities for the Estonian space sector. Several studies and technology audits have been demonstrated the excellent Estonian space capabilities and potential for developing services and applications from space-related technologies.

The BIC Estonia Consortium consists of eight partners: Tartu Science Park, Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, City of Tartu, City of Tallinn, University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, Tartu Observatory, and Kredex.

More information on ESA BIC Estonia: https://www.esabic.ee/

European Space Week will take place in Tallinn – Estonia – from 3 to 9 November 2017. It will The foster interactions between the space and digital community and will provide visibility to the rapidly changing space sector, its applications and the European Union’s Space Programmes Copernicus and Galileo. Central aim is to bring together the most important European space stakeholders, companies, partners and visionaries pushing the topic of space in Europe and beyond.

Find out more: http://www.eusw2017.eu/

(Photos: Rasmus Kooskora)