ESA provides financial and technical support for innovation in Germany
ESA’s Business Incubation Centre (BIC) in Darmstadt will receive new multi-year support of up to €4.5 million and 4800 hours worth of expert consulting, enabling ten new start-ups annually to optimise their commercial endeavours.
In a joint effort between ESA, DLR and the German State of Hessen, the new funding and support services will enable numerous new value-added space- and navigation-focussed start-ups to enter incubation between next year and as late as 2019.
The news was announced at a signing event today at ESOC, where ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations, Thomas Reiter, was joined by ESA’s Franco Ongaro, Director of Technical and Quality Management, Florian Rentsch, Hessen State Minister for Business, and Frank Zimmermann, Managing Director of cesah.
The expert consulting services will be provided by ESOC, co-located with ESA’s Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Darmstadt, which was founded in 2007 and is managed by a private company, the Centrum für Satellitennavigation Hessen (cesah).
Generating future-oriented jobs
"As head of the ESOC Establishment, I am very pleased that collaboration between ESA, DLR, the State of Hessen, Darmstadt, universities and local industry has helped foster an outstanding incubator as our next-door neighbour,” said Thomas Reiter.
“The satellite navigation business and related services are true generators of future-oriented high-tech jobs. Today, the efficiency of cooperation between these partners has again been well demonstrated."
Germany hosts two ESA-supported incubators
Together with ESA BIC Bavaria, ESA supports two such centres in Germany through its Technology Transfer Programme (TTP) and General Support Technology Programme (GSTP).
There are six more ESA BICs, located in the Netherlands, Italy, the UK, Belgium (Redu and Flanders) and southern France. A ninth centre is planned for Barcelona, Spain.
Like all of the BICs, the centre in Darmstadt offers business start-up support as well as technical expertise in a range of space-related areas, and in particular in satellite navigation, data systems, software systems, applications and navigation test environments.
The BICs aim to inspire and facilitate the use of space technology, systems and know-how for non-space applications.
ESA’s TTP aims to strengthen European industry by identifying new business opportunities for providers of space technology and systems. It enhances the know-how and competitiveness of these providers while broadening their business horizons.
cesah continuing success: 39 start-ups
To date, cesah has assisted 39 companies to achieve technical and commercial viability, creating over 100 high-value jobs and contributing strongly to the Hessen region’s world-class IT expertise.
Current ‘incubatees’ include companies that have developed a smartphone app to help Deutsche Bahn monitor hundreds of railway stations, a flood-monitoring system enabling authorities to react quickly to reduce potential damage, flexible land surveys by unmanned microplanes and a smart tourist guidance system for city visits.
Cesah is a joint undertaking of ESA, the State of Hessen, the City of Darmstadt, the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Hochschule Darmstadt/University of Applied Sciences, T-Systems International and Telespazio VEGA Deutschland. It is financially supported by Hessen and the City of Darmstadt.