Business Incubator Centers as drivers of innovation and growth in the satellite service sector

Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Business incubation


Space activities require the kind of human, technical and financial resources that no single European country possesses on its own. Traditional ESA members will benefit from supporting new entrants and cooperating states to catch up fast. Newer space countries can leverage their competitive edge in high-growth sectors such as downstream services.

Indeed, with Galileo and Copernicus – the most ambitious investments in space of the last decade – the opportunities for innovation and growth in this area are unprecedented, and particularly suited to more agile actors, such as value-added service providers including SMEs and start-ups.

ESA’s Business Incubation Centres are ecosystems of innovation and an organisational model that can help countries cluster expertise and competencies in the downstream sector. Over the past years ESA BICs have already supported over 250 start-ups, and counting: in 2014, the 11 ESA BICs will support around 90 start-ups.

Workshop objectives

This workshop will focus on:
• The economic potential of the downstream sector
• The competitive advantages of new entrants on this sector
• The business potential for SMEs involved in space
• Governance and organisational models to boost the sector, especially ESA Technology Transfer Programme and its Business Incubation
• Cross fertilization between space and other industries and potential for spin-in
• Sharing experience in setting up local initiatives

Workshop participants

The workshop targets national space delegations, policy makers, regional development agencies and space clusters.

Workshop partners