ESA Business Incubation Centre

ESA BIC is the business incubation program of the European Space Agency. It is the best place for entrepreneurs to realise their innovative business ideas based on space technology or data.

Next application deadline: 20 June








Discover your space at ESA BIC

ESA BIC Noordwijk offers technical, business and financial support to startups that use space technology for terrestrial applications.

ESA BIC Noordwijk is part of a network 18+ ESA BICs across Europe, which were established to empower entrepreneurship and to allow local economies to benefit from space data and technologies.

Why should you participate?

  • It’s the hub for commercialisation of space technology in Noordwijk
  • Working in an innovative, high-tech entrepreneurial environment
  • Close to ESA’s biggest R&D facility ESTEC

What do you get?

Technical support

Up to 80 hours of Technical Support from the European Space Agency

Incentive Funding

Up to € 50.000 Incentive Funding for product development

Business support

Business development support and advice


Access to the international ESA Space Solutions community

Exclusive events

Exclusive access to (international) events


Door opener to international investors via EBAN


Workshops, seminars and training courses

International exposure

Use the ESA BIC brand to boost your business

Successful incubations

technical support from ESA


What are the benefits of joining ESA BIC?

  • Incentive Funding up to € 50.000 for product development and IPR
  • Up to 80 hours Technical Support through ESA
  • Business development support, advice and coaching
  • IP Consulting
  • Exclusive access workshops, seminars and trainings
  • Exclusive access to international events
  • Access to the international ESA Space Solutions community
  • Preferred access to office facilities, experts, suppliers and investment capital

What fields of application are possible?

  • Satellite navigation / mobile services
  • Earth observation
  • Mobility (road – sea – air)
  • Satellite communication
  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Robotics / Mechatronics
  • Materials
  • Environmental monitoring

Who can apply?

  • You have an innovative idea based on space technology or data
  • Your company is not older than 5 years or needs to be founded yet
  • You are a European citizen
  • Your company headquarters will be located at the offices of SBIC Noordwijk

The ESA BIC application process

Applying for ESA BIC is quite a process, so it is important that you begin on time. For a successful application, follow the steps described below.


Step 1: Contact

Meet our community manager Martijn Leinweber for an informal introduction.
Schedule your appointment now!


Step 2: Download & read the open call

Download & read the Permanent Open Call documents


Step 3: Complete the application

Cover Letter (Section V)
Incubation Proposal (Section VI)
Business Plan (Section VII)
Related appendixes (as needed)


Step 4: Submit within the deadline

Send all required documents to before 20 June.


Step 5: Wait for confirmation

All proposals are first reviewed on formal requirements by the Tender Opening Board (results will be made known by 25 June).


Step 6: Pitch your business plan

Present your company before the Tender Evaluation Board (3 or 4 July).


Step 7: LIFT OFF!

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if my product or service needs space technology and where can I find space technology?

The space relationship is a very important requirement in order to join the ESA BIC.

For investigating patents, please take a look at the ESA Space Solutions website or the ESA Space Tec page. Here you can find some space technologies.

May the funding from the ESA BIC Noordwijk Program be used to pay rent for office space?

No. The incentive can only be used for IPR and product development.

Our project consists mainly in the development of an electronic device. The Open Call says that the incentive granted “as a general rule can only be spent in The Netherlands”. However we are already in contact with a company in another country to develop such device, and a prototype is being currently designed. Can the funding from the ESA BIC Noordwijk Program be used to finance the development in this case?

This can only be done, in high exception, when the product can not be found in the Netherlands. In general, spending the incentive abroad can only be done after consulting the Incubation Manager.

Is it mandatory to have one person permanently located in Noordwijk during the project?

In our vision, an incubator is more than just a place to work. It is also a place to meet other incubatees and partners, to share knowledge and attend events. So while we will not force you, we do strongly encourage you and your team to be present in Noordwijk at least a few days per week.

What is the procedure when I apply for a position in the ESA BIC Noordwijk programme?

After you applied, and your application meets the basic requirements, you will receive an invitation within a week. The invitation is to give a presentation to the Tender Evaluation Board (TEB) which will be held around three weeks after the deadline. The results of the TEB will be given to you three weeks after the TEB. If you are selected you will receive an invitation for negotiations for the ESA BIC Noordwijk programme.

Which companies are in the Tender Evaluation Board?

The TEB consists of ESA, SBIC Noordwijk, NSO, Rabobank Bollenstreek, Verhaert Masters in Innovation, Haseltine Lake and the Zirkzee Group.

What does ‘support entities’ mean?

Support entities are companies, government or knowledge institutes who are supporting you, with knowledge and/or money.

JOHAN's Success story

In little over two years’ time, JOHAN has equipped more than 20 Dutch soccer and field hockey teams with small trackers that allow JOHAN’s sport scientist and the teams’ coaches to adapt training schemes to the personal needs and goals of each player and avoid injuries.

In May, JOHAN signed a major international contract with the Champions Soccer League USA, which will equip 50 teams with tracking technology over the next year.

Our startups

The following companies are currently being incubated in
ESA BIC Noordwijk:

Viridian Raven

Risk assessment for forest management


Non-invasive crop monitoring for vineyards using hyperspectral cameras


Introducing Hiberband: the low power Global Area Network


Translating aerial & satellite imagery into usable data


Top-grade information on truck parking areas and truckstops


Portable cooling container for temperature sensitive medications.

Lift off your business!

Give your space business the edge it needs to beat the competition. Apply for the ESA BIC Program.