This June, the two ESA BICs France have passed the 100 incubates. These are all young space start-ups that benefit from specific support and targeted funding to sustain their development.
This ESA incubation program is reinforced and completed by the Connect by CNES program, which offers support services to companies, thus ensuring a comprehensive and solid offer for space players.
More and more, the partnership, coherence and network of the various actors of the support in France contributes to the emergence and sustainability of innovative companies using space data in all sectors of activity.
The ESA incubator network
The ESA BICs are incubators or networks of incubators supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) to support space companies in the broadest sense; those working in infrastructure (including those of Newspace), those specializing in the use of space data or those benefiting from technology transfers from space to non-space.
This network, of European dimension, benefits from a CNES funding and has two incubators in France:
- ESA BIC Nord France (coordinated from Brest by Ouest BIC Technopoles)
- ESA BIC Sud France (coordinated from Toulouse by Aerospace Valley)
INCUBATION, FUNDING, PROMOTION
The offer proposed by the ESA BICs mainly includes incubation for 12 to 24 months, dedicated funding of up to €100,000 and a whole series of promotional and support actions during incubation.
AT THE beginning, ESA SPACE SOLUTIONS
ESA Space Solutions is the starting point for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy.
Its mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of commercial activities using satellite applications and space technologies to improve everyday life. The program is designed to offer multiple entry points such as ESA BICs (Incubation Centers), ESA Brokers (managing the technology transfer part of ESA) and the ESA Business Applications program.
Coherent and networked support
If the emergence of a new strong industrial fabric in the field of space is affirmed in France, it is thanks to all these devices, but also to their complementarity and the ability of actors to work in a coordinated manner, in partnership mode.
It is through shared events, complementary devices, a logic of optimization ... that these actors can offer a real framework to companies wishing to launch and prosper in the field of space, finding answers to their needs throughout their journey, upstream but also downstream.
The incubators ESA BIC Nord France and ESA BIC Sud France strongly adhere to this approach, and interact regularly to offer a better service to their incubates.
It seems obvious to us to allow incubates to meet each other, by proposing events/workshops that will benefit everyone. On a regular basis, we organize a meeting and information day in one of the cities of our network (Montpellier, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nice...). Since last year we are also starting to organize South/North meetings, like in June 2019 at the Paris Air Show.
Maxime ELHAIK, manager of ESA BIC Sud France
These moments are important for the companies, but also for us, because they help us to know each other better, and therefore to work better together!
Véronique de la Casa, Connect by CNES funding expert
Positive impacts for all sectors of the economy
These joint efforts and the coherence of a global and efficient offer are bearing fruit and are felt in all sectors of activity: maritime, agriculture, security, education, water and land management, insurance, logistics, construction, tourism... and dozens of other fields of the current economy.
Solutions that use space data or technology are sometimes found in everyday life. They are not only reserved for "Deeptech" companies, and are becoming more and more accessible to entrepreneurs, especially thanks to the European programs Copernicus and Galileo (...) and the patent libraries of ESA and CNES
Alexia FREIGNEAUX, manager of ESA BIC Nord France
Some key figures
ESA BIC Nord France*
- Starting 2018
- 27 incubates
- 100% of start-ups still in business in 2020
ESA BIC Sud France*
- Starting 2013
- 92 incubates
- 91% of start-ups still in business in 2020
- 663 cumulative jobs in 2019
- 28 M€ cumulative sales in 2019
The series of hundreds
Since the incubation program began in France, the two ESA BICs have already supported more than 100 startups, and the buzz continues.
For its part, Connect by CNES has provided support to 98 companies of all sizes between 2018 and 2019, and the demand continues to grow.
* Data as of July 01, 2020
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