Estonia launched the first space incubation programme in the Baltics

Estonia together with European Space Agency opened the first Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) in the Baltics, joining the European-wide network, which has fostered the creation of more than 140 space-related startups across Europe each year.

The ESA Business Incubation Centre helps to turn space-connected business ideas into commercial companies by providing technical expertise and business-development support with the aim of aiding 20 Estonian start-ups over a 5-year period to develop products for terrestrial use.

“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.

Urve Palo, Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, added that “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.”

Estonia started its cooperation with ESA in 2009 in order for Estonian companies and research institutions to participate in ESA´s projects for the first time. Estonia became a full member of ESA in 2015, providing completely new opportunities for the Estonian space sector. Several studies and technology audits have demonstrated the country’s exceptional space capabilities and potential for developing services and applications from space-related technologies.

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

The BIC Estonia Consortium consists of 8 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/

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