The Madrid Region Business Incubation Center (BIC) of the European Space Agency is officially opened
The Madrid Region Business Incubation Center (BIC) of the European Space Agency was officially opened on 24 February. The center’s remit is to encourage entrepreneurs with business spin-off ideas to use smart technologies developed under Europe’s space programs.
Co-funded by ESA through the Ministry of Economics, Industry and Competitiveness and the Madrid Region Ministry of Economy, Employment and Finance, this ESA BIC is run by Fundación para el Conocimiento madri+d, a benchmark technology and science foundation.
The ESA BIC Madrid Region was introduced by Federico Morán, Director of the Fundación para el Conocimiento madri+d, and opened by ESA’s Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner, the President of the Community of Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, and representing the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, the Secretary General for Industry and SMEs, Begoña Cristeto, as well as the Secretary General for Science and Innovation, Juan María Vázquez.
The event’s standout guests also included representatives of Spain’s main space firms. Jorge Potti, GMV’s Executive Director of Space Manager, attended on behalf of GMV.
Started by ESA’s Technology Transfer Program in 2003, the business incubation initiative has now grown to 16 centers in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, UK, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Czech Republic, Ireland, Austria and Switzerland, fostering over 130 new companies every year and creating high-tech jobs throughout Europe.
Three new centers are planned to open later this year in Finland, Norway and Estonia, bringing the total up to 19 ESA BICs in 16 countries with 35 incubator locations to foster start-ups developing innovative solutions based on space technology for non-space as well as for space programs.
The initiative benefits from space technology and expertise in order to generate new businesses and jobs in Europe. This also boosts local economies and improves Europe’s competitiveness. Thanks to these start-ups and their entrepreneurs, cutting-edge technologies and expertise from Europe’s space programs are used to create solutions here on Earth.
In the words of ESA’s Director General, Johann-Dietrich Woerner “Over the next five years, the centre will support 40 Spanish start-ups at four technology houses located in universities and technology centers across the region”