ESA Business Incubation CentreESA 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.
Applications to this year’s program are closed. We’ll announce a new date for 2020 soon.
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 of 20 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 thé hub for commercialisation of space technology in The Netherlands
- Working in an innovative, high-tech entrepreneurial environment
- Close to ESA’s biggest R&D facility ESTEC
What do you get?
Technical support hours 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
- Robotics / Mechatronics
- 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 citizen of an ESA member state and are resident in The Netherlands
- For non-ESA member state citizens: you have a working permit or startup visa, and are resident in The Netherlands
- You are willing to locate your company headquarters at the offices of SBIC Noordwijk
At first we only had a wild idea. The ESA BIC program has helped us to create a functional prototype, build a business around it and offered us the tools to expand that business.Dennis van der Wiel
ESA BIC is a pleasant environment for your first steps in building/testing products and running a business. The presence of other startups has helped us a lot – you always have someone to exchange knowledge with. Because of this we were able to rapidly build our business.Wendy Mensink
We chose for this business incubation centre as we saw a clear advantage to be among other companies – which are all trying to achieve something incredible.Erik van der Heide
The ESA BIC application process
Applying for ESA BIC is quite the process, so it’s important that you start on time. For a successful application, follow the steps described below.
Step 0: Read our blog on community commitment
Step 1: Contact
Meet Lorenz van Gool or Martijn Leinweber for an informal introduction.
Schedule your appointment now!
Step 3: Complete the application
Template Cover Letter (Section III)
Template Business Plan (Section IV)
Template Incubation Proposal (Section V)
Related appendices (as needed)
Step 5: Wait for confirmation
All proposals are first reviewed on formal requirements by the Tender Opening Board. This will be done within a week after the application deadline.
Step 6: Pitch your business plan
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.
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.
What are ‘support entities’?
Support entities are companies, government or knowledge institutes who are supporting you, with knowledge and/or money.
As a general rule the ESA BIC grant can only be spent in The Netherlands. Our manufacturer for our prototype however is in another country, and the product is already being designed. Can the funding 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 hub to meet other incubatees and partners, to share knowledge and attend events. When you’re here, collaboration with us and other community members is easy. We believe face-to-face contact is the way to go. That’s why we ask (and strongly encourage) you and your team to be present in Noordwijk at least two days per week.
What happens after I applied?
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, V.O. Patents & Trademarks and ZUITS.