Location of ESA Business Incubation Centres

ESA Business Incubation Centres


The Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO) coordinates ESA's seven Business Incubation Centres (BICs) in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, UK and Belgium.

The BICs help entrepreneurs and young companies to use space technologies and knowhow in innovative new products and services in non-space fields, as well as advice and support with business development.

ESA offers business incubation at:

ESA BIC Noordwijk in the Netherlands

Aerial view of ESTEC

ESA Business Incubation Centre Noordwijk (ESA BIC Noordwijk) is located at the European Space Innovation Centre (ESIC) close to the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

ESTEC is the largest ESA establishment and the scientific and technical heart of the Agency. It is located in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

The majority of ESA projects are initiated at ESTEC and this is where they are managed through the various phases of their development.

More than 2000 specialists work at ESTEC on dozens of space projects: science missions, human spaceflight, exploration, telecommunications, satellite navigation and Earth observation as well as technology development.

ESA BIC Noordwijk offers business start-up support as well as technical expertise in most areas of space technology and know-how.

For more information, see ESA BIC Noordwijk, the Netherlands

ESA BIC Darmstadt in Germany

Control Room at ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany
Control Room at ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany

ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) Darmstadt is located in the direct vicinity of ESA's European Space Operations Centre, ESOC.

Considering the long-standing expertise of ESA and its contracting companies in the field of satellite navigation, ESA and the regional government of Hesse (Germany) established an ESA BIC with focus on Galileo-related navigation applications.

The ESA BIC Darmstadt is managed the 'Centrum fur Satellitennavigation Hessen GmbH (cesah).

The centre has teamed up with renowned research institutions, IT and consultancy firms, and key Galileo-user industries. Studies have shown that Galileo, Europe’s future satellite navigation system, will help to develop an enormous global market for highly accurate navigation and positioning solutions.

The ESA BIC Darmstadt offers business start-up support as well as technical expertise in different space related areas, and in particular in satellite navigation, data systems, software systems and navigation test environments.

For more information, see ESA BIC Darmstadt, Germany

ESA BIC Lazio in Rome

ESRIN's ground facilities

In cooperation with the Business Innovation Center of Lazio Region (BIC Lazio), Italy, ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) Lazio offers business start-up support as well as technical expertise particularly in the areas of systems and software infrastructures for data handling, and integrated Earth observation, satellite navigation and communication applications.

The ESA BIC Lazio is located in Rome, in the vicinity of ESA's ESRIN establishment in Frascati. ESRIN is ESA’s headquarters for Earth observation activities.

Earth observation satellites provide a constant stream of data which are used by scientists, institutions and industry to support the management of natural resources and the monitoring of the environment at a global, continental and local scale.

The centre has close links to European industry as well as to international organisations such as the European Union, United Nations agencies and the civil protection, agriculture and environment ministries within ESA Member States.

ESRIN is a multi-disciplinary establishment, which hosts teams involved in the VEGA Launcher Programme, ESA Corporate Informatics and website, as well as applications of space telecommunication.

For more information, see ESA BIC Lazio, Italy

ESA BIC Bavaria in Germany

ESA BIC Bavaria headquarter

The ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Bavaria headquarters was opened in August 2009 at the prominent Oberpfaffenhofen aerospace location near Munich, Germany.

It is managed by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), a leading platform for entrepreneurship in the field of aerospace, satellite navigation, and Earth monitoring.

Due to rising demand from company founders, branch offices were established in nearby Nürnberg and Berchtesgadener Land in 2011, expanding the ESA BIC incubation programme to a total of three locations in Bavaria.

Bavaria is one of the top five aerospace hotspots in the world and one of the few international locations that cover virtually the entire value chain of the industry – from research and development to production and maintenance. The aerospace industry counts as one of the most important engines of growth and innovation in the local economy and offers high potential for start-up companies.

To strengthen Bavaria’s position as hub of space entrepreneurship, a number of programmes and initiatives have been established to provide essential support to the sector. Thanks to this support and the numerous space-related companies located nearby, ESA BIC Bavaria is an ideal partner for start-ups seeking to realise their business ideas.

For more information, see ESA BIC Bavaria, Germany

ESA BIC Harwell in the UK

Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

The ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Harwell is located at the world leading Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire - a focal point and cluster for the UK’s rapidly growing high-tech space community.

Harwell Campus is home to 4,500 researchers, engineers and innovators from 150 high-tech organisations including the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Medical Research Council, and many start-up companies and multinational organisations across a wide range of scientific and technological sectors.

Harwell provides a unique opportunity to access world class scientific facilities and research including that of the Diamond Light Source and STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) – home to its internationally renowned space science department RAL Space, the world’s most powerful pulsed neutron source ISIS and the Central Laser Facility.

For more information, see ESA BIC Harwell, the UK

ESA BIC Redu in Belgium

ESA's Redu Centre in Belgium

ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Redu is located near the ESA Redu Centre at the Galaxia Business Park in Transinne-Libin, Belgium, a business incubator for the EU’s space sector.

With the variety of satellites operated by ESA from its Redu Centre, ESA BIC Redu aims at start-up companies specialized in telecommunications, Earth observation, navigation systems as well as integrated applications.

Located at Galaxia Business Park, ESA BIC Redu provides start-up companies with not only access to ESA knowledge, experts and infrastructure, but also to number of other companies located at the business park, such as two world leaders in each their sector, Vitrociset and SES ASTRA TechCom who are prepared to support newcomers.

For more information, see ESA BIC Redu, Belgium

ESA BIC Flanders in Belgium

ESA BIC Flanders in Geel

ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Flanders is located in Geel in the Flemish Region in Belgium. It is managed by Innotek, a knowledge centre for innovation and technology, that has teamed up with the renowned Flemish research institutions VITO, SCK•CEN and IMEC to act as technical partner for the ESA BIC Flanders.

The scientific expertise of these institutions complement the start-ups’ technical development in the fields of electronics, nanotechnology, telecommunications, navigation systems, nuclear science, bio-engineering, radiology, life science, earth observation, etc.

ESA BIC Flanders' incubation activities are hosted in two technology houses, one in Geel and the other in Mol. The technology houses provide offices and laboratory space for forward-looking entrepreneurs.

For more information, see ESA BIC Flanders, Belgium

Last update: 12 March 2014

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