The first incubator of the European Space Agency (ESA Business Incubation Centre) was launched in Greece to support startups active in the field of space.The ceremony took place online with the participation of the new Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) Joseph Aschbacher, the Minister of State and Digital Governance Kyriakos Pierrakakis and representatives of the 22 members of the Organisation.
The Minister welcomed the launch of the incubator and the prospects that will open up for Greek companies.'The Fourth Industrial Revolution with new cutting-edge technologies such as 3D printing, microelectronics and nanoelectronics, digitisation, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things provides opportunities for business ecosystems both in space and elsewhere. ESA BIC is a prime example of successful business support mechanisms in Europe. I am eager to see startups from Greece benefit from the advantages of the presence of ESA BIC in Greece.'
The operation of the Greek ESA BIC is the result of many months of planning by the General Secretariat of Telecommunications and Posts of the Ministry of Digital Governance in collaboration with ESA for the active participation of Greece in the European Space Strategy and for the benefit of the national economy.
The objective of ESA BIC Greece will be to support Greek startups that are active in the development of solutions and services for the space sector. The incubator will enhance the transfer of know-how from the applications in the field of Space to applications for everyday life and will encourage the development of startups and entrepreneurship in the country.
Corallia of the Athena Research Centre, which took over the operation of ESA BIC Greece following an open bidding process, will work closely with ESA to support up to 25 Greek startups for 5 years with a focus on Space technologies. As part of its obligations, Corallia undertakes the obligation to house start-ups and provide technical and legal advice as well as financial support of € 50,000 per company.
The goals of ESA BIC Greece are:
- The active participation of startups in the development of the Greek collaborative formation of space technologies and applications
- Job creation and encouragement of high risk venture investments
- Support for the transfer of know-how to and from the space sector
- Creation of synergies with industry of other countries participating in ESA programmes
- The use of domestic productive forces and the strengthening of competitiveness
- The development of complementary synergies in the context of other European and national programmes.
About ESA BICs
ESA launched the ESA Business Incubation Centres in 2003 and today operates 22 ESA BICs, in over 60 locations across Europe. About 180 startups are selected each year to join the ESA BICs, and to date the institution has set up more than 700 companies employing thousands of highly trained workers across Europe.