The eighth application round of the Estonian space business incubator finished in April. Four strong candidates presented their space-related business ideas to a jury of consortium partners from the European Space Agency’s Business Incubator in Estonian (ESA BIC Estonia). Due to the high level of the teams, the jury chose three space technology start-ups to join the incubation program. Together with the alumni and the companies that signed a contract last week, 19 of the 20 places are filled.
To date, all companies selected to join ESA BIC Estonia have signed agreements and started planning the next steps together with the business incubator team and mentors.
“Since its launch in 2017, the ESA Business Incubator in Estonia has proven that young companies founded by our entrepreneurs and researchers pass the thorough screening of the ESA BIC evaluation panel. They offer not only new ideas but also plans on how to monetize them,” said Madis Võõras, Head of the Estonian Space Bureau.
This time, two spin-off companies of the University of Tartu, LightCode Photonics OÜ and UP Catalyst OÜ, and 10Lines OÜ, which recently won the European Satellite Navigation Agency (GSA) business competition from the prototype to the product category, were selected. Sven Lilla, project manager of ESA BIC Estonia, pointed out that companies are becoming more and more aware of the nature and possibilities of space technologies. He sees that the research achievements of Estonian universities have a great potential to lay the foundations for new knowledge-intensive space companies. Lilla added that this time the companies had an exceptionally high technical and scientific background. They have great potential to support future space missions in the direction of creating a Moonbase. The University of Tartu has been a breeding ground for Estonian space companies and thanks to the world-class student satellite program ESTCube and Tartu Observatory. Currently, five spin-off companies of the University of Tartu are involved in the ESA BIC Estonia incubation program.
LightCode Photonics Ltd is developing a 3D camera, which enables autonomous machines to “see” better and thus ensure greater safety on self-propelled machines, both on land and in the air. UP Catalyst OÜ produces carbon nanomaterials and catalysts for various applications in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way through the electrolysis of carbon dioxide, the by-product of which is oxygen. This will provide an opportunity to produce oxygen on space missions in the future. 10 Lines OÜ is developing a robot that can mark lines on parking lots without any help, using precision navigation and satellite images.
Today, 19 companies have joined the ESA Estonian Business Incubator, nine of which are in the Tartu Incubator and ten in Tallinn. The cities have invested a total of € 620,000 in companies, which has helped create 88 high value-added jobs in the region. Companies have paid nearly € 980,000 in labour taxes and have a turnover of over € 3.7 million.
In the autumn application round with a deadline of October 28, there is one last place to fill in the ESA Estonia Tartu Business Incubator.
Estonian Business Incubator of the European Space Agency – creates new business opportunities.
The Estonian business incubator of the European Space Agency is the first of its kind in the Baltics. ESA Estonia Business Incubator is part of the world’s largest network of incubators, which includes 22 space business incubators in 60 locations across Europe. To date, the network has supported the creation and development of more than 1,100 space technology start-ups. The goal of the ESA Estonian Business Incubator operating in Tartu and Tallinn is to help 20 space start-ups within five years. The business incubator offers them 50,000 euros in product development support, industry-specific mentorship and access to the ESA network. The goal of the ESA Estonian Business Incubator is to create new jobs and develop the local economy.
The leading partner of ESA BIC Estonia is Tartu Science Park. In cooperation with Tehnopol, they offer space business incubation services in Tallinn and Tartu.
The consortium of the space business incubator consists of seven partners: Tartu Science Park, Tehnopol Science and Business City, City of Tartu, the City of Tallinn, the University of Tartu together with Tartu Observatory, Tallinn University of Technology and Kredex.
Read more about ESA BIC Estonia here: www.esabic.ee