SKUDO – the Estonian Space Startup That Offers Cybersecurity Solutions

The company is currently negotiating a contract which will take its technology in space on an orbiting satellite

SKUDO, an Estonian startup offering deep-tech cybersecurity and hardware based encryption for high level niche markets such as the space industry, is one of European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) Estonia success stories.

In an interview with Space Business Today, the company’s founder Stefano Alberico talked about SKUDO’s beginning and its development under the ESA BIC Estonia’s programs.

SKUDO’s story began in January 2020, when the startup entered the selection process of the ESA incubator, and subsequently was selected to participate and to work on its space applications.

“We designed an encryption solution entirely contained within a single FPGA chip which allows to protect any data communication (e.g. satellite, drones, IoT, etc). Having a working technology, we needed access to the market and contacts with customers.” Alberico tells Space Business Today.

Source: SKUDO

“The contract with ESA helped providing an important customer validation while the ESA BIC helps providing a stimulating supporting eco-system, funding, networking and all around support.”

According to Alberico, Estonia has been also pushing hard to become leading in the cybersecurity sector and space is also one of the possible application where the country wants to play an important leading role.

“SKUDO is negotiating for a new large contract where in partnership with CGI-Estonia we are going to bring and test our technology in space on an orbiting satellite, where we will provide an end-to-end encrypted data link (ground-satellite) based on our own FPGA chip technology.” Alberico told SBT.

Since Estonia is a full member of the ESA since 2015, this also allows Estonian startups to compete in many public tenders and national space projects. Additionally, companies can also take part in large international projects and help foster a strong local space economy, Alberico said.

However, when it comes to investing in space technology, the human capital is a very much important aspect as well, especially with small countries such as Estonia, which have a limited budget, Alberico tells SBT.

“It’s all about human capital, especially when the budgets are limited compared to other regions in the EU. People need to be very smart, creative and strong minded if they want to become innovative and competitive in this segment.”

At the moment, there are around 20 space-tech startups in the ESA BIC Estonia, and many of them are already showing early-stage growth.

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PowerUP Energy Technologies powers Russian sailor to victory in MAP race using hydrogen

The installation of the new hydrogen fuel cell generator took place in Lorient just over a week ago and, since then, Gracheva has won the MAP race on June 4.

The race, created to honour the memory of Marie-Agnès Péron, had been organised by the Winches Club and took place in Douarnenez bay, France.

Speaking on her victory and the new collaboration with PowerUP Energy Technologies, Grachevka said, “Through our collaboration with PowerUP, Canopus became the first Mini to use hydrogen to charge batteries.

“This enables us to be at the forefront of innovative technologies and take care of nature by abandoning fossil fuels at this stage.

“I am proud to say that Canopus now consumes exclusively renewable fuel!”

PowerUP Energy Technologies produces hydrogen fuel cell-based electric generators and proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

These can be used in a wide range of applications such as marine, telecommunications, military, construction, hospitals and more.

Dr. Ivar Kruusenberg, Founder and CEO of PowerUP Energy Technologies, said, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the first-ever Russian woman to have completed the Mini Transat.

“She races on a Proto in the Mini Class which is designed for high-performance racing and we approached Irina last year, however, the pandemic did not allow for things to materialise fast.

“We used this time to develop a customised solution for her that would be powerful yet safe to accompany her during her races.

“Irina has a legacy of trying innovative solutions when it comes to her sailing journey. As she was not satisfied with the power solutions available before, she was clear in what she wanted: a reliable backup source for the solar panels.”

Kruusenberg continued, “We delivered a UP400 generator to her recently in France which will allow her to charge her batteries whenever she likes and do that sustainably.

“Being an inspiration for many, Irina is our ideal customer in the sailing world and we hope our generator supports her in every possible situation at the sea.

“We wish her all the best for her sailing endeavours!”

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UP Catalyst wins NewCo Accelerator Pitching Competition at Arctic15

The winner of the NewCo Accelerator Pitching Competition at Arctic15 2021 is UP Catalyst! The runner-up is FanSifter and on third place Kausal. Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to all the amazing competitors for great pitches!

UP Catalyst OÜ is producing sustainable carbon nanomaterials and catalysts in novel methods. Currently, carbon materials are expensive and have a major negative impact on the environment; they are either mined from fossil resources or synthesized in toxic processes from raw oil. Their game-changing production processes are based on CO2 electrolysis and biomass pyrolysis. It recycles waste materials such as wood chips, black liquor, sludge and CO2.

UP Catalyst’s products are superior to any other carbon nanomaterials in quality, product properties and competitive pricing. These materials are used in a wide range of industries such as, but not limited to batteries, fuel cells, water filters and many others.

The pitching competition focused on pre-seed to seed stage startups. A panel of international investors and experts judged startups. There was three stages to the competition, the application period, public Top30 voting, and the final 15 pitching at the online event.

See below the winner’s pitch at public Top30 voting round on YouTube.

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