Entrepreneurs gather beside a replica of a European Meteosat weather satellite at ESA’s Business Incubation Centre Noordwijk in the Netherlands.
A close neighbour of the Agency’s ESTEC technical heart, ESA BIC Noordwijk is one of a 20-strong network of ESA BICs across Europe, providing technical and business support to startup companies transferring innovative space technology to terrestrial markets.
ESA BIC Noordwijk manager Martijn Leinweber explains: “We’ve successfully incubated more than 100 companies to date during the last decade, offering support to every stage of the startup process.
“Ideas harnessed by current startups here include applying solid rocket technology to firefighting, hyperspectral imaging to improve the health of vineyards and standardised battery storage for solar arrays.”
As a whole, ESA’s BIC network has incubated more than 700 start-ups, creating thousands of new jobs and boosting regional economies.
Space has become an integrated part of our daily lives. From smartphones to agricultural monitoring, the socio-economic benefits of space activities are so diverse that they are not always so obvious to the general public. ESA focuses this week on what space is doing for the economy, in particular, highlighting the flourishing applications domain and business opportunities.