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ESA Business Incubation Centres

ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Business Incubation

Start-up opportunity for entrepreneurs

ESA Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office initiated its ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) in 2003 to inspire and work with entrepreneurs to turn space-connected business ideas into commercial start-ups companies.

This has proven to be a very successful initiative. Over 700 start-ups have been fostered throughout Europe with thousands of new high tech jobs created thanks to the applications of space systems, the valorization of ESA intellectual properties and the space technologies transfers - and more than 180 new start-ups are taken in yearly at the ESA BICs.

Twenty ESA BICs, spread over more than 60 cities, in 17 European countries have been set-up with more already in the planning. Together with their national partners and ESA the centres provide all the needed technical expertise and business-development support to the more than 300 start-ups currently under incubation.

Many examples are illustrated in the “Our Future in the Space Age” introducing ESA’s technology transfer programme and telling the stories of how some space technologies spin-offs have resulted in innovative applications and smart solutions for citizens on Earth.

Successful ESA BIC entrepreneurs

The ESA BICs provides an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-ups to turn their ideas and inventions into successful businesses in Europe. At the centres they are provided with:

- office space and logistics support
- technical support
- business assistance
- seed money and access to equity loan facilities
- access to inventors, VCs and other finance opportunities
- help to find partners and launch business internationally through the extensive ESA BIC network 

ESA offers business incubation at:

  • ESA BIC Noordwijk located in Noordwijk near ESTEC in the Netherlands.
  • ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg with three centres located in Darmstadt near ESOC, in Reutlingen close to Stuttgart, and at Friedrichshafen-Immenstadt in Germany.
  • ESA BIC Lazio located in Rome near ESRIN in Italy.
  • ESA BIC Bavaria with three centres located in Oberpfaffenhofen, Nürnberg and Ottobrunn, Germany.
  • ESA BIC UK with three centres located at Harwell, in Edinburgh and in Daresbury in UK.
  • ESA BIC Belgium with 6 centres located in Redu, Charleroi, Liège, Louvain-la-Neuve, Antwerpen and Ghent.
  • ESA BIC Sud France with 11 centres located in the Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Corsica, and Auvergne Rhone Alpes regions in the south of France, and in French Guyana.
  • ESA BIC Barcelona in Spain.
  • ESA BIC Portugal with three centres in Coimbra, in Porto and in Cascais near to Lisbon.
  • ESA BIC Madrid Region with four centres in Pozuelo, in Tres Cantos, in Leganés and in Mostoles, all in the Madrid region in Spain.
  • ESA BIC Sweden with three centres in Luleå, in Uppsala and in Trollhättan. 
  • ESA BIC Czech Republic with two centres in Prague and in Brno.
  • ESA BIC Austria with two centres in Graz and in Wiener Neustadt. 
  • ESA BIC Ireland with four centres in Cork, in Athlon, in Maynooth and in Ringaskiddy
  • ESA BIC Switzerland with the centre in Zurich and supporting start-ups throughout the country through virtual incubation.
  • ESA BIC Estonia with two centres in Tartu and Talling. 
  • ESA BIC Finland with two centres in Espoo and Tarku.
  • ESA BIC Nord France with six centres in Brest, in Nantes, in Paris, in Lille, in Troyes and in Caen.
  • ESA BIC Hungary in Budapest.
  • ESA BIC Norway with four centres in Kjeller, Oslo, Stavanger and Tromsø.
  • ESA BIC Denmark is the 21st member of ESA’s pan-European network of Business Incubation Centres.

ESA BICs: How to apply

ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) have open calls for proposals, which means that applications can be submitted at any time.

Procedures and details are specific for each centre, and include both the Call for Proposal and a Proposal Template to be used. National and site conditions specific for each centre is also specified.

For more information, please visit the pages for the specific ESA BICs. 


Contact directly one of our ESA Business Incubator Centres above or send an email to

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