The national space incubator ESA BIC Sweden (European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre Sweden) secures funding for supporting another 36 space startups for the next six years and expands when welcoming incubator Ideon Innovation in Lund as its fourth hub.
– We are proud to gain continued trust in managing ESA BIC Sweden and are happy to have Ideon Innovation in Lund joining. This will strengthen us in helping promising entrepreneurs all over Sweden turn their space tech ideas into successful businesses, says Jens Lundström, Managing Director of ESA BIC Sweden and CEO Arctic Business.
ESA BIC Sweden, initiated by the European Space Agency and the Swedish National Space Agency with Vinnova providing half of the funding incentives, has incubated nearly 40 startups since its launch in 2015. Among them are companies such as Fourth State Systems, Arctic Space Technologies, Fureho, APR Technologies, Vultus and listed Unibap.
– It is important to give small Swedish companies the opportunity to develop and become internationally competitive. ESA BIC Sweden does a great job of capturing early ideas and talents in space and equipping them, says Anna Rathsman, Director General of the Swedish Space Agency.
The national space incubator harnesses both upstream and downstream ideas; meaning they could be targeted towards space or using space technology or space-based services to solve problems and improve life on Earth. Part of a network of over 70 ESA BIC locations across Europe, ESA BIC Sweden was the first ESA BIC to explicitly allow upstream companies when it was started – now this is the case at all locations.
– ESA and ESA BIC Sweden pioneered this upon request from the Swedish National Space Agency. Sweden is well positioned on the international space scene because of its research and industries and ESA BIC Sweden has an important role in this ecosystem. I’m excited to see that this work is done in close collaboration with the other Nordic countries, says Stefan Gustafsson, ESA BIC Network Manager.
ESA BIC Sweden is managed by Arctic Business in the northern region in collaboration with Innovatum in the west, Uppsala Innovation Centre in the capital region and newcomer Ideon Innovation in the south. Lund is a strategic choice for the fourth hub because of its geographical location and its close connection to Lund University.
– We act in an environment of networks and relationships with large companies that can support startups in the space industry in many ways. Our ambition is to take regional responsibility for southern Sweden and ensure that companies in space tech are aware of the possibilities with ESA BIC. We hope to be able to help more entrepreneurs and companies grow with the opportunities within ESA BIC Sweden, says Anders Nilsson, CEO Ideon Innovation.
ABOUT ESA BIC SWEDEN
ESA BIC Sweden offers qualified advice and support to entrepreneurs from research centres, universities, space and non-space businesses seeking to realise their innovative ideas and transfer technologies from space to other areas of the economy.
Incubatees are accepted three times a year and can take advantage of up to 50,000 Euros of non-equity funding plus technology, support and advice, attractive co-working spaces and networking. Some of ESA BIC Sweden’s partners are SSC, IRF, Ångströmlaboratoriet, RUAG, GKN Aerospace, AWA, Bergenstråhle & Partners and LTU.
The network of ESA BICs around Europe has helped start more than 1000 companies so far and are able to work with close to 200 new space startups each year. So far there has been more than 200 M Euros of investments in the startups.