Business ideas for space technology
Deadline: 31 October

Satellite operation control systems to monitor oil and gas installations
26 September 2007

ESA is calling for proposals from entrepreneurs with new ideas on how space technology can be turned into business opportunities in non-space sectors. The deadline for the last round of proposals for this year is 31 October for the Business Incubator at ESTEC, the Netherlands.

To date, more than 50 entrepreneurs have been hosted at one of ESA’s three Business Incubation centres to start their companies. ESA’s support has led to new businesses providing innovative solutions in non-space fields based upon space technology and satellite supplied services.

Business incubation

As part of its endeavour to encourage the transfer and commercialisation of space technologies, ESA has set up business incubators at ESTEC in the Netherlands, ESOC in Germany and ESRIN in Italy.

The centres support selected entrepreneurs, named ‘incubatees’, with comprehensive commercial and technical assistance to help them start up business that use space technology in non-space industrial, scientific and commercial fields.

Three start-up successes

Roland Haarbrink joined the ESA Business Incubator in 2005 to start his company called Miramap to develop novel solutions for airborne surveys of land and water surface installations over large areas such as water barriers and dykes. The technology, originally developed for satellites, uses passive microwave remote sensing technology. Today Miramap has several clients, including the Dutch Ministry for Traffic and Water Management.

iOpener brings real racing cars into games consoles
Satellite navigation brings real world car racing into game consoles

After winning the South Holland regional Galileo Masters 2006 competition, Andy Lürling was hosted at ESA’s Business Incubator to develop his idea of integrating world car racing into the virtual world of games console racing by using satellite navigation data.

“Gamers can participate in the excitement and suspense of a real race and try to beat professional racing drivers and other virtual gamers from their own homes,” explains Andy Lürling. His idea turned out to be a great success and today his company iOpener employs seven people and recently won the Ernst & Young Best Business Case Award 2006/2007. End of October iOpener will present their Real-time Games product at a press conference to be held at the Dutch racetrack of Zandfort.

Remote sensing space technology to survey large area installations

Alexandre Van Damme’s idea was to use the advanced monitoring concepts and systems used in satellite operation control to monitor oil and gas installations. With the support of ESA’s Business Incubator he started the company EATOPS to develop and market a new generation of real-time data monitoring and failure analysis systems called RIVOBS.

His system processes the massive amount of data coming from offshore platforms, pipelines and regional production facilities and converts the information into innovative 3-dimensional displays to support operators in their decision making and enable predictive maintenance analysis to become a reality.

Deadline for 2007: 31 October for ESA’s Business Incubator at ESTEC

For more information and how to apply, see:
ESA Business Incubation: Applications.

About ESA's Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO)

Space tech insulates tomographs
Space tech insulates tomographs

The main mission of the ESA TTPO is to facilitate the use of space technology and space systems for non-space applications and to further demonstrate the benefit of the European space programme to European citizens. The TTPO is responsible for defining the overall approach and strategy for the transfer of space technologies including the incubation of start-up companies and their funding.

For more information, please contact:

Technology Transfer Programme
European Space Agency – ESTEC
Keplerlaan 1, P.O. BOX 299, 2200 AG, Noordwijk
The Netherlands
Office: +31 (0) 71 565 3910
Fax: +31 (0) 71 565 6635
Email: ttp @

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