ESA Business Incubation: Centre Locations

The Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO) coordinates four Business Incubation centres Centres (BICs) which each offer technical expertise in several fields, as well as advice and support with business development.

ESA offers business incubation at:

  • BIC ESTEC, at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
  • BIC ESOC, at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, in partnership with cesah ('Centrum für Satellitennavigation Hessen' in Germany).
  • BIC ESRIN, at the European Centre for Earth Observation in Frascati, Italy, in partnership with BIC Lazio (Business Innovation Centre of Lazio Region in Italy).
  • BIC Oberfpaffenhofen, in partnership with The Free State of Bavaria, the German Aerospace Center DLR and the German bank Kreissparkasse München Starnberg. BIC Oberfpaffenhofen is located at Oberfpaffenhofen in Southern Germany.


Aerial view of ESTEC

ESTEC is the home of one of ESA’s Business Incubation Centres. It is the largest ESA site and the scientific and technical heart of ESA. The majority of ESA projects are initiated at ESTEC and this is where they are managed through the various phases of 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 Business Incubation at ESTEC offers business start-up support as well as technical expertise in most areas of space technology and know-how.

BIC ESOC - Centrum für Satellitennavigation Hessen GmbH (CESAH)

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

ESOC is the home of another of ESA’s Business Incubation centres: the Incubation Centre for Advanced Satellite Navigation Applications.

Considering the long-standing expertise of ESA’s Navigation Office and its contracting companies in the field of satellite navigation the Agency decided, under its business incubation initiative, together with the regional government of Hessen, to establish a business incubation centre for Galileo-related navigation applications: the Centrum für 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.
ESA Business Incubation at ESOC 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.


ESRIN's ground facilities

ESRIN is ESA’s headquarters for Earth observation (EO) activities.

EO 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.

In cooperation with the Business Innovation Center of Lazio Region (BIC Lazio), Italy, ESA Business Incubation at ESRIN 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.

BIC Oberpfaffenhofen

The ESA BIC Oberpfaffenhofen is the latest ESA BIC. It is opened 3 August 2009 in cooperation with the Free State of Bavaria, the German Aerospace Center DLR and the German bank Kreissparkasse München Starnberg. The centre is run by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberfpaffenhofen (AZO).

ESA BIC Oberpfaffenhofen is to be located at the new Aerospace Technology Park Oberpfaffenhofen (ASTO) with its 18,000 square metres of office space.

The vicinity to the scientific expertise and development network of the German Aerospace Center DLR is unique. Internationally renowned organisations such as the DLR's institutes for robotics, mechatronics, communications, and navigation will complement local start-ups' technical development and promote both the commercialisation and use of aerospace technologies in other growth areas.

Last update: 31 August 2009

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