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ESA Business Incubation Centres

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ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Business Incubation
ESA BIC Noordwijk   ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg   ESA BIC Lazio   ESA BIC Bavaria   ESA BIC UK   ESA BIC Belgium ESA BIC Sud France
ESA BIC Barcelona   ESA BIC Portugal   ESA BIC Madrid Region   ESA BIC Sweden   ESA BIC Czech Republic   ESA BIC Austria ESA BIC Ireland
ESA BIC Switzerland   ESA BIC Estonia   ESA BIC Finland   ESA BIC Nord France   ESA BIC Hungary   ESA BIC Norway


The ESA Business Incubation Centre UK - ESA BIC UK - started its operation in Harwell, UK, in 2011 and is managed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Utilising space technology can offer ambitious entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage within their sector. In partnership with ESA, STFC provides the support and funding that start-up companies need to turn their ideas into profitable products and services using space technology, or to develop technologies for use in space.

 Your ESA BIC UK contact person: Sue O’Hare

Sue O’Hare, ESA BIC UK Manager,
STFC Innovations Limited
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Harwell Campus
OX11 0QX Didcot, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1235 446075
Alternative contact:
Michael Norris

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, or you must be developing products and services for the space sector.
  • Your company must not be older than five years or you are ready to start a new company
  • Your company has to be based at and managed from your preferred ESA BIC

Join the ESA BIC by five steps

  • Choose the ESA BIC where you wish to locate your business
  • Contact the ESA BIC manager (email to:
  • Download the Permanent Open Call for Proposals containing the application documents and guidance from
  • Submit your signed and completed application files as instructed in the Permanent Open Call document.



STFC manages ESA BIC UK across its sites, offering successful applicants fully equipped office space, as well as access to all the benefits of being part of the flourishing and unique network of science and innovation campuses.

Businesses work alongside, and in collaboration with, other businesses, STFC scientists and engineers, accessing a whole wealth of expertise.

Each of the three locations is associated with a number of specialisms:

  • At Harwell, there is an established space cluster which includes STFC’s RAL Space and the Satellite Applications Catapult, and which is already home to 80 space-related companies.
  • Sci-Tech Daresbury, with more than 130 companies onsite, has established clusters themed around big data and medical technologies.
  • The Royal Observatory Edinburgh has a long heritage in the space, data and satellite industries in addition to the brand new Higgs Centre for Innovation.

Start-ups can choose their location either according to location or specialism.

Our current and former start-up companies

STFC is extremely proud of the success stories that have come out of the programme since it began in 2011 and continues to follow the progress of companies as they graduate, having recently reached the milestone of 60 alumni companies.

More on the ESA BIC UK start-ups here.

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