The 20th ESA Business Incubation Centre opened today in Norway to welcome entrepreneurs with novel spin-off business ideas for technologies and satellite developed under ESA’s space programmes.
“We promote progress and growth through supporting start-ups creating new businesses based on our space technology and satellite services,” said ESA Director General Jan Woerner in the welcome to ESA Business Incubation Centres (BIC) Norway. The centre is the latest member of the Europe-wide ESA BIC network in 17 European countries each year fostering over 150 new start-ups.
“One of the central roles of Europe’s space programmes is to improve the quality of life on Earth.
“By making our knowledge and technology available to innovative entrepreneurs through our Technology Transfer Programme and its Business Incubation Centres we help to create new jobs and businesses by spinning off Europe’s investments in space research and development.”
“Our centres have already fostered more than 650 new companies throughout Europe. We are happy that Norway joins with this new centre.”
In a video communication, Norway's Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen welcomed the attendees at the opening ceremony which took place at Kjeller Innovasjon in Lillestrøm.
He said, “Norway is also part of the international space society, even though there are no Norwegian astronauts. Norway is an active member of the European Space Agency and ESA is an important tool for developing the modern Norwegian society.
“Space represents interesting opportunities for innovation, commercialization and investments.
“I am convinced that Norwegian entrepreneurs and start-ups will seize the opportunity to take part in the growing market for space technology spin-offs.”
The Norwegian Space industry is a large and expanding industry that provide services and equipment based on satellites for communication, navigation and Earth observation.
The two main strategic goals for Norway's space activities are the development of profitable companies and increased employment, and the coverage of important social security and user needs. ESA BIC Norway will support these national goals.
Twenty-five new space-related start-up
ESA BIC Norway is managed by Kjeller Innovasjon in Lillestrøm in collaboration with Validé in Stavanger, Norinnova in Tromsø and StartupLab in Oslo, each operating a business incubation centre. Through this organisation, ESA BIC Norway can support entrepreneurs throughout the country to foster business ideas and turn them into new companies.
Over the coming 5 years, ESA BIC Norway will fund and develop 25 new companies, with a target of 5 each year. Start-ups will be hosted for a period of two years at one of the four incubation partners of their choice where they will receive support for technical and business aspects as well as financial and networking assistance.
World's largest ecosystem for space-related entrepreneurship
ESA BIC Norway is the latest to join the pan-European network of ESA Business Incubation Centres – ESA BICs - operated under ESA's Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office.
Today, there are 20 ESA BICs in 17 European countries – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and UK – forming the largest ecosystem in the world for space-related entrepreneurship.
Over 650 start-ups have been fostered and another 150 new start-ups are taken in yearly at ESA BICs to be supported under the two-years business development boosting programme.
The 20 ESA BICs form together with 16 ESA Technology Transfer Brokers the ‘ESA space solutions’ network offering a complete access to industry and start-ups to all aspects of space-related innovation, technology and intellectual properties and is a gateway to ESA and European space research and developments.