Great opportunities for startups based on space technology.
The European Space Agency ESA’s Business Incubation Centre in Norway (ESA BIC Norway) will support startup companies that plan to develop new products, applications or services based on science and technology from space.
The most promising startups will receive up to 50 000 euro from ESA and Innovation Norway.
The selected companies will also receive technical, practical and administrative support, as well as access to the network of 20 other ESA Business Incubation Centres throughout Europe.
ESA BIC Norway will be located in Oslo, Lillestrøm, Stavanger and Tromsø. During the first five years 25 startups will be selected and supported.
The new innovation centre will be headed by Kjeller Innovation, in partnership with Validé, Norinnova, StartupLab, Spaceport Norway and the Norwegian Space Centre.
The formal opening of ESA BIC Norway took place in Kunnskapens Hus at Kjeller on Friday the 31st of August 2018.
At the opening were representatives from Norwegian startups, innovation clusters, space companies, investors, research institutes and government agencies.
From the opening of ESA BIC Norway in Kunnskapens Hus at Kjeller on the 31st of August 2018. Photo: Kjeller Innovation
- I’m convinced that Norwegian entrepreneurs will jump at this possibility to enter the growing market for spin-offs from space technology, the Norwegian Minister of Education and Research, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, said in a video presentation at the ceremony.
Each year the ESA BIC throughout Europe support 150 new startups. The ESA BIC programme began 20 years ago and has helped more than 650 new businesses.
- By making ESA’s insights and technologies accessible for innovative entrepreneurs through technology transfer programmes and business incubators, we enable Europe’s investments in space research and technology development to create new jobs and growth, ESA’s General Director Jan Wörner said when he signed the formal agreement on behalf of ESA.
Ralph W. Bernstein, CEO of Kjeller Innovation, emphasized the opportunities that ESA BIC Norway represents for entrepreneurs and companies currently not part of the space sector.
The Norwegian Space Centre’s CEO, Christian Hauglie-Hanssen, focused in his presentation on the task of finding the most promising projects in a jungle of innovative ideas and ambitious business plans.
Smiles all around as ESA's General Director, Jan Wörner (left), and CEO of Kjeller Innovation, Ralph W. Bernstein, sign at the opening of ESA BIC Norway. Photo: Kjeller Innovation
Assisting the opening by holding the ribbon cut by Jan Wörner was an agricultural robot from Saga Robotics.
This robot has been developed by researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and uses satellite data in all its activities, from hauling crates of vegetables to UV-irradiate plants to prevent fungal infections.
- The startup segment in Norway is very international, which gives us a great chance for having exciting new startups with top notch potential apply to ESA BIC Norway, says Bjørn Ottar Elseth, senior advisor at the Norwegian Space Centre.
Elseth hopes the already established space companies in Norway will take an interest in the new innovation centre and the startups selected by ESA BIC Norway.
ESA's 20 Business Incubation Centres in Europe in 2018. Illustration: ESA
- We are looking for a wide range of companies, both creators of new technology and developers of online applications or services. The most important factor is the potential for growth, Elseth concludes.
The Norwegian Space Centre offers several different programmes for financial and practical support for companies that aim to develop or utilize space technology, and arranges several innovation competitions each year. (Links to articles in Norwegian.)
Bjørn Ottar Elseth – Senior advisor, industry – The Norwegian Space Centre – 22 51 18 11 / 905 74 985 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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