How to care for bees, create new space spin-offs and more

25/03/2019 223 views 0 likes
ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Technology Transfer

Visitors to FutureScope 2019 can meet innovative start-ups from ESA space solutions Centre Ireland's business incubator - like one helping beekeepers to keep their colonies healthy - and get to know about the spin-off opportunities from ESA's space programmes.

FutureScope takes place at the Convention Centre in Dublin 29 March. It is Ireland's number one innovation event and dedicated to exploring new business opportunities arising from emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, AR/VR, data analytics, IoT and 5G. 


Report from FutureScope 2018

The event brings together leaders from the technology ecosystem to share perspectives on the implications of disruptive technologies, providing valuable insights to businesses at all stages of the innovation lifecycle.

Space, the new business frontier

Niels Eldering
Niels Eldering

Keynote speaker Niels Eldering from ESA’s Business Applications and Space Solutions programme will discuss ”the race for commercial space” and the entrepreneurial opportunities in today's space world, at the Insights Stage 10:30.

”We have some 4500 satellites circle the Earth, providing communication services, navigation tools, monitoring the weather, observing our planet and the universe. Once the domain of governments, today the area is open for business in the commercial world.

“This `next frontier` gives entrepreneurs enormous and unprecedented opportunities to develop innovations for the space sector as well as in space spin-offs and turn them into new start-up enterprises.”

ESA supports start-ups at its ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) Ireland, part of the ESA space solutions Centre Ireland.

David Gibbons
David Gibbons

“Entrepreneurs come to us with their ideas on how space technology can be used to create smarter solutions in both space and non-space sectors, or on how systems using data from our many satellites can provide innovative services to our citizens,” says electronics engineer and former rocket scientist David Gibbons who worked on Europe’s heavy-lifting Ariane 5 rocket, and now heads up the ESA space solutions Centre Ireland.

“We then help them at our ESA BICs with our national partners to turn their great new ideas into viable and successful businesses.”

Bee monitoring tech, powered by satellite communication


The ApisProtect start-up from ESA BIC Ireland is a great example on how innovative thinking combined with leading edge IOT and space powered communication can lead to a smart solution for an agricultural sector.

Their system provides beekeepers with in-depth information about the health and condition of their colonies. An in-hive sensor network is connected via a cellular and satellite communication to a proprietary big data and machine learning techniques-based system to pick up in near real-time on incidences of disease, pests and other issues.

Fiona Edwards Murphy
Fiona Edwards Murphy

“We collect data on things like temperature, humidity and sound from inside the beehive, and we use machine learning to convert that raw data into valuable information for the beekeeper,” explains ApisProtech CEO Fiona Edwards Murphy.

The company foresees that the technology can help improve the health of more than six million honey bees in hives across selected areas in Europe and North America, where it is now initially being rolled out. ApisProtech will be showcased on the Insights Stage 9:30.

ESA BIC Network: the world´s largest ecosystem for space-related entrepreneurship

ESA BIC Ireland is part of ESA’s Business Applications and Space Solutions programme and its network of 20 ESA BICs throughout Europe that co-funds projects and start-ups while offering technical and business support to companies that seek to deliver rapid innovation and raise private investment. Overall ESA spends €400 million a year on strengthening the competitiveness of European and Canadian companies in the global markets not only for satellite communications but also for downstream applications.

The 20 ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) are forming the largest ecosystem in the world for space-related entrepreneurship and has fostered over 700 start-ups throughout Europe. Spread over more than 60 cities in 17 countries, more than 300 start-ups are currently under the two-years business incubation development booster programme with another 180 taking in yearly.

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