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ESA Business Incubation Centres

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ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Business Incubation
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ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland

Tyndall National Institute in Cork
Tyndall National Institute in Cork

ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland facilitates access to ESA programmes,  promotes the adoption of space solutions and supports the development of Irish companies, new and existing, in space and downstream sectors. The centre incorpoartes the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) for Ireland.

The centre opened in September 2016 and is led by Tyndall National Institute in Cork in partnership with Athlone Institute of Technology, Maynooth University, and MaREI (Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy), and funded jointly by ESA and Enterprise Ireland. ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland operates across the four partner locations.

Tyndall National Institute is one of Europe’s leading research centres in ICT research and development and the largest facility of its type in Ireland. Established with a mission to support industry and academia in driving research to market, the institute employs over 460 researchers, engineers and support staff.

Hosting the only full CMOS (metal oxide semiconductor) integrated circuit construction, Micro Electronic Mechanical systems (MEMS) and III-V Wafer Semiconductor fabrication facilities and services in Ireland, Tyndall is capable of prototyping new product opportunities for its target industries: electronics, medical devices, energy and communication.

Tyndall is a globally leading Institute in its four core research areas of Photonics, Microsystems, Micro/Nanoelectronics and Theory, Modeling and Design. Furthermore, Tyndall is the lead institution for the Science Foundation Ireland funded Irish Photonics Integration Centre.

With a network of over 200 industry partners and customers worldwide, Tyndal focuses on delivering real impact from its excellent research, and with a clear strategy to create employment and build critical mass within the Irish technology space.

Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) in Athlon is an award-winning higher education institution, with over 500 staff. More than 6,000 students are undertaking undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programmes in business, humanities, engineering and science. €100 million has been invested in AIT’s campus since 2000. AIT has three strategic research institutes in materials, bioscience and Software.

Two Enterprise Ireland-funded technology gateways are hosted by AIT. Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) houses expertise in polymer technologies and connected digital media. Centre for Industrial Services and Design specialises in engineering and design services including rapid prototyping (product design, 3D printing, additive manufacturing) and hosts extensive analytical laboratories.

The Midlands Innovation and Research Centre (MIRC) at AIT provides business incubation facilities for innovative and knowledge-based enterprises, a programme for entrepreneurs and start-ups, and makes available the resources and expertise of AIT to support client companies. The MIRC has supported 140 knowledge-based start-ups to date.

Maynooth University (MU), Ireland’s second oldest and fastest growing university, is internationally recognised for the quality and value of its research and scholarship, and its dedication and commitment to teaching and its students.

MU has an international reputation for research in humanities, social and spatial sciences, mathematics, communication and computation, and human health. Research strengths include wireless systems and applications, physical layer radio, antennas, microelectronics, integrated circuits, applied mathematics, geocomputation, and the analysis and modelling of spatial data.

The University community comprises over 9,000 students and 800 staff. MU is a national leader in the commercialisation of research – its performance in knowledge transfer is outstanding by international norms. MU’s Commercialisation office leads the Enterprise Ireland-funded Technology Transfer Alliance in which AIT is a partner. MU has recently opened its new state-of-the-art campus incubator MaynoothWorks, having operated a virtual incubator for the last 7 years). 

MaREI (Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy) is a research, development and innovation centre, supported by Science Foundation Ireland, that operates across the fields of marine research, marine renewable energy, and renewable energy. 
With a cumulative budget exceeding €50m, the Centre’s activities are motivated by the need to address global challenges such as blue growth, climate action, and the energy transition, resulting in the development of a dynamic research ecosystem that is responsive to the needs of academia, industry, government and society. 
MaREI’s strengths lie in the multi-disciplinary nature of its research teams, allowing it to combine insights across areas such as Marine Renewable Energy Technologies, Materials & Structures, Observation & Operations, Coastal & Marine Systems, Bioenergy, Energy Policy & Modelling, and Energy Management. 
As a driver of collaboration, the Centre comprises over 200 world-class researchers who are engaging with stakeholders across more than 36 countries. 

Business Incubation Premises

ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland offers business incubation at its four site:

  • Tyndall National Institute in Cork
  • Athlone Institute of Technology at its Midlands Innovation and Research Centre in Athlon
  • Maynooth University at its campus business incubator MaynoothWorks in Maynooth
  • MaREI at its The Entrepreneur Ship business incubator in Ringaskiddy


The Permanent Open Call for Proposal for business incubation can be downloaded from the right navigation bar.

Technology Transfer Demonstrators

ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland offers also ESA's Technology Transfer Demonstrator projects to support the transfer of space technology to terrestrial applications where there is a strong commercial or societal benefit but there is a clear technical risk that can be eliminated through such a project.

These projects result in the development and testing of new hardware and software which increase the likelihood of the core technology being transferred from space to ground.

The Open Call for Technology Transfer Demonstrators can be downloaded from the right navigation bar.

Your ESA Space Solution Centre Ireland contact:  Peter Finnegan

ESA BIC Ireland
Peter Finnegan, ESA Space Solution Centre Ireland Manager
Tyndall National Institute
Lee Maltings Complex
IRL-Dyke Parade, Cork, Ireland

Tel: +353 87 9037101

Wish to join an ESA BIC ?

  • Your idea must be based on space-related technology, expertise and/or application and target the non-space market
  • Your company must not be older than five years or you are going to start a new company
  • Your company has to be located at and managed from the country of your preferred centre


Join the ESA BIC by five steps

  • Choose ESA BIC where you wish to locate your business
  • Contact the ESA BIC manager
  • Download the Permanent Open Call for Proposal for your application and guidance
  • Send your signed and completed application files to the manager of the selected centre.


Why ESA Space Solution Centre Ireland ?

ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland offers a strong support structure with its different partners and business alliances. Start-ups hosted at the business incubation sites will benefit from:

  • Ability to use space technology for terrestrial applications in their start-up
  • Business development support, advice and effective workplaces for up to 24 months
  • Funding of 50.000 € for product development and IPR
  • Technology transfer demonstrator funding of €40.000
  • Access to ESA IP for commercialization
  • Technical support up to 80 hours through technical partners and ESA
  • Support to secure further venture capital, loans and grants as needed
  • Access to the international ESA business incubation community
  • Easy access to ESA technical expertise
  • Becoming part of the ESA and its space solution brands
  • National and international contacts to industry players, research institutes and universities
  • Access to office facilities, experts, suppliers and other sources of funding
  • Access to the know-how of the incubator organizations with years of experience in incubating many high-tech startups.


Our start-up companies

A list of hosted start-ups - incubatees - and alumni will be added.

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