Tehnopol and Tartu launch space business incubator
In cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA), Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol and Tartu Science Park have recently opened a new space business incubator which will help to transfer technology from space to non-space applications and support Estonian startups to develop products for terrestrial use.
The ESA Business Incubation Center (ESA BIC) is the first of its kind in the Baltics, and will promote space related business ideas by providing technical expertise and business development support.
"Through our Technology Transfer Program with its business incubation centers we have already helped to create over 500 new companies with many new jobs in Europe, by spinning off Europe's investments in space research and development and making them available to entrepreneurs," Director General of ESA Johann-Dietrich Worner said. "Estonian companies have been cooperating with ESA for 5 years, and have demonstrated excellent space capabilities and potential for developing services and applications from space related technologies."
With the help of the business incubator, engineers and researchers will be able to create novel products and services related to space, combining space technologies such as Earth observation data and satellite navigation services with the already existing e-services to create more value on both sides
The implementation and the ongoing management of ESA BIC Estonia will be led by the Tartu Science Park in cooperation with the Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, with activities taking place in both cities.
"Each year we are helping around 45 tech companies to reach a sustainable income or first private funding. We see more and more companies who are developing space related technologies and together with ESA we can offer them incentive funding of up to 50 000 euros for product development and specific know-how and mentoring," Tehnopol's Startup Incubator manager Martin Gorosko said. "Our goal is that 20 Estonian startups over 5 years could also reach the international arena. Today, we are launching the first permanent open call for the incubation program in Estonia, so all amazing space related ideas could come to life."
Estonia started cooperation with ESA in 2009, allowing Estonian companies and research institutions to participate in ESA's projects for the first time. Estonia became a full member of ESA in 2015, which provided completely new opportunities for the Estonian space sector.
The BIC Estonia consortium consists of eight partners: Tartu Science Park, Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, City of Tartu, City of Tallinn, University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, Tartu Observatory, and Kredex.