07. May 2020

The first virtual evaluation panel of the European Space Agency’s business incubator network took place in Estonia

For the first time in the history of the European Space Agency network of business incubators, the business idea evaluation panel took place virtually. The six teams that applied had the opportunity to present their space-related business ideas to a jury consisting of the European Space Agency and the Estonian space business incubator representatives and consortium partners. As the level of the teams was high, four space technology start-ups were accepted into the incubation program. Altogether with the alumni, 15 start-ups are part the incubator.

Representatives of the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre Estonia (ESA BIC Estonia) evaluate the applications of space start-ups twice a year, either in Tartu or in Tallinn. It works in the same way in the rest of Europe. Due to the current particular situation, such an approach is no longer possible, so it was decided to carry out a virtual evaluation panel.

“Estonia stands out in the network because we are proactive and solution-oriented. Today’s technologies make it possible to hold web-based meetings and conferences, which means that you no longer have to gather in one place physically,” explained Andrus Kurvits, the head of the business incubator and a member of the board of Tartu Science Park. “Last month, together with the European Space Agency, we supported The Global Hack virtual hackathon. Today, several companies created as a result are applying for the funding rounds offered by the European Space Agency “, Kurvits added. (More information: https://business.esa.int)

“The teams in this round are solving important ground-based problems through the innovative use of space technologies or systems,” Sven Lilla, Head of Operations of the incubator, summed up the evaluation panel. “They are a clear example of how Estonian companies continue to have innovative ideas and interest in using space solutions to implement them.”

According to Kadri Tammai, the manager of Tehnopol Startup Incubator, many teams that have applied and been accepted have a high technical level, but they need support to develop a functional and escalating business from the original solution. “Our mentor network, hands-on training program and supportive community are what make the program special and help us succeed faster,” Tammai added.

The teams selected in the last round of evaluation are Skudo OÜ, Skycorp OÜ, Krattworks OÜ and ESTIMO-GNSS OÜ.

Skudo OÜ is developing a hardware encryption solution that can be used for secure data transmission from satellites to drones. Skycorp OÜ is working on autonomous new generation long-distance drones that use hydrogen fuel. Krattworks OÜ is creating an autonomous system for surveying forest fires by combining remote monitoring with drones. ESTIMO-GNSS OÜ has a cheaper alternative to the current GNSS-based structural monitoring solutions for buildings under development. Their signal-processing technology has a multiple application for mm-level precision real-time 6D-positioning of static and dynamic objects. They can develop a turn-key custom solution without utilizing 3rd party technologies or services.

European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre Estonia – creates new business opportunities.

The Estonian business incubator of the European Space Agency (ESA BIC Estonia) is the first of its kind in the Baltics. The space business incubator aims to create new jobs and develop the local economy. It is part of the world’s largest network of incubators, with 20 space business incubators in 60 locations, that have supported the growth of more than 700 space technology start-ups. The goal of the space business incubator in Tartu and Tallinn is to help 20 Estonian space start-ups reach the international market within five years by offering them 50,000 euros in product development support and experienced mentors.

ESA BIC Estonia’s leading partner is Tartu Science Park, which in cooperation with Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol offers space business incubation services in Tallinn and Tartu.

The ESA BIC Estonian consortium consists of seven partners: Tartu Science Park, Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, City of Tartu, City of Tallinn, the University of Tartu with Tartu Observatory, Tallinn University of Technology and Kredex.

Read more about ESA BIC Estonia here: esabic.ee

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