ESA’s Startup competition will offer the winning entrepreneurs expert advice and an ideal platform to showcase their space-based ideas at an international forum. The closing date for proposals is 15 April.
Good advice from seasoned experts and ESA technical support in the development and testing of products and services can help innovators to hone their ideas giving them a valuable head-start in a fiercely competitive market.
ESA’s competition for startups in ESA Member States opened on 2 March and is accepting proposals for future services and/or products using space technology. Interested innovators can apply through ESA’s competition website under certain terms and conditions.
A team of ESA experts will select the best ten ideas based on an assessment of the startup team, the competitiveness and economic viability of the business model and its impact on society. These ten startups will then pitch their ideas to the delegates of ESA’s Industrial Policy Committee during session of its working group at ESA in the Netherlands before a final selection of three winners on 16 June.
These winning proposals will receive expert advice through a mentoring grant and the chance to promote their ideas at the ESA booth at this year’s International Astronautical Congress (IAC) of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates from October 12–16 October 2020.
During this year’s IAC there will be a dedicated Global Networking Forum (GNF) involving a panel session holding an informed debate on how public procurement authorities can promote a strong industrial space sector.
This year the focus is on startup companies, their role in space programmes and the challenges they face. ESA and other industrial bodies are looking for ways to provide support to startups in their valuable role in the space industrial ecosystem.
During this GNF session the winning European startup will join other international winners from other startups competitions planned in Australia, United Arab Emirates, Canada and Japan. The winners in second and third place will be offered a platform during a dedicated Technical Session also focusing on startup companies.
Dubai represents a hub of opportunity for startups and the IAC presents an excellent chance to meet leaders in space from across the globe, industry executives, heads of major space agencies, research institutes, astronauts, senior space engineers and policy makers.