Photo: esa.int

Photo: esa.int

Last modified: 23/07/2014

Barcelona looks for entrepreneurs with innovative projects related to space technologies

The European Space Agency (ESA) will set up their first Business Incubation Centre (BIC) in Spain in the coming months. The application process for firms wanting to set up there has started.

Managed by Barcelona Activa, the new ESA BIC Barcelona centre will be will be located in the so-called REDIT building, part of the UPC Park in their campus in Baix Llobregat in Castelldefels. The project aims to make the Catalan capital a leader in the application of space technology, strengthening its positioning as a magnet for entrepreneurial talent. The ESA centre should be up and running in the coming months

BIC applications are being invited from start-ups still in their first five years of business activity. These firms should be innovative initiatives that use space technology to develop products, services or applications with an industrial use or for everyday use.  The application process will be open throughout the year. 

Companies that set up in the incubator will have access to the UPC's and the European Space Agency's scientific and technical team. They will also get expert business advice from Barcelona Activa. Each firm will receive up to €50,000 to develop their product or service as they reach certain milestones. Additionally, they get preferential access to private funding from Caixa Capital Risc –a capital risk fund run by "la Caixa", a savings bank. 

A committee made up by ESA members and representatives of the different promoters behind the Barcelona incubator will be responsible for selecting the projects that will be invited to set up in ESA BIC Barcelona. Queries can be sent by email to programes.emprenedors@barcelonactiva.cat. Some 40 international and locally developed start-up firms are expected to set up in this incubator by 2018. 

10th European Space Incubator 

BIC will be the first ESA centre to open in Spain, joining a network of nine others spread across European countries, including Holland, England, France, Germany, Belgium and Italy. Barcelona City Council presented a canditature to host this new incubator a year ago, together with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia - BarcelonaTech (UPC) and other public administration stakeholders and Caixa Capital Risc, the venture capital fund run by "la Caixa". 

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