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ESA BIC Finland is expanding its operations

Publication date 2.9.2023 4.29
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© Aurora Propulsion Technologies / ESA BIC Finland

ESA BIC Finland is launching its business incubation activities on the Finnish west coast and in Tampere. The business incubation center provides networking and funding services for space industry startups. The latest selection round for the program was conducted at the end of August at the University of Vaasa.

The operations of the Finnish European Space Agency Business Incubation Center (ESA BIC Finland) are expanding to the western coast of Finland and Tampere. Vaasa University and Turku Science Park are establishing the "ESA BIC Finland's West Coast Hub," with Vaasa University taking the lead. The University states that the West Coast Hub will cover the regions of Southwest Finland and Ostrobothnia. The ESA BIC location is planned to be within Vaasa University's Technobotnia technology center, while the main office of ESA BIC Finland is located at the Aalto Startup Center in Otaniemi, Espoo, which is responsible for coordinating incubation activities. In the context of the expansion, Vaasa University has signed a partnership agreement with the Aalto Startup Center. Business Tampere is responsible for implementing the ESA BIC program in Tampere, as indicated in ESA BIC Finland's press release.

Provides both technical and business expertise
The ESA BIC network supports companies in their early stages that either utilize or develop space technology, offering both financial support and technical and business expertise. The goal of the business incubation network is to propel space industry startup companies into the "new space" era and assist space technology companies in succeeding in the commercialized space sector. For example, Aurora Propulsion Technologies, which received ESA BIC Finland funding, has emerged as a well-established player in the space industry, developing solutions aimed at removing spacecraft from orbit.

"Companies gain access to ESA's research infrastructure and programs"
ESA BIC Finland's operations also aim to support the internationalization of space industry startups, as emphasized by professor Heidi Kuusniemi, responsible for space economy projects at Vaasa University, in their news release: "In addition to funding from ESA and Business Finland, as well as individual and group coaching, companies selected for the incubator gain access to ESA's research infrastructure and programs and build a valuable network of partners."

Incubation funding of up to €85,000
Space industry startup companies can apply for ESA BIC funding throughout the year. Selection decisions are made twice a year by a designated selection committee from ESA BIC Finland and Business Finland. Incubation funding awarded to companies selected in ESA BIC Finland's selection process can reach a total of up to €85,000. The most recent selection round was conducted at Vaasa University at the end of August.