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Investing in Industrial Innovation

6 September 2017. A new ESA initiative, Investing in Industrial Innovation in Earth Observation – also known as ‘InCubed’ – kicked off today with an open call for European businesses to apply for a chance to gain financial and practical support for industry projects.

Innovation, collaboration, partnership and speed are all key factors in making Earth observation a success in the up and coming Earth Observation commercial market. As part of its drive to shape Earth observation for the future, ESA has set up InCubed to help stimulate investment in industrial innovation for the Earth observation sector.

The goal is to support industry-led initiatives that will open new market opportunities, bring innovative systems and products faster to market, and compete in the global marketplace.

Through InCubed, companies developing innovative systems, components and products in the Earth observation business sector can approach ESA at any time for support to make their venture technically viable and commercially competitive. Proposals could be about satellites, constellations, instruments or big data analytics, for example.

“Earth observation is undergoing a paradigm shift,” said Josef Aschbacher, Director of ESA’s Earth Observation Programmes. “Commercial companies, big and small, are developing exciting assets, such as satellites, ground systems and data analytics solutions. ESA has set up a programme, called InCubed, to help European industry to establish a leading market position. Speed and flexibility in deciding and implementing a partnership proposal are key ingredients for success. InCubed will do that.”

With a budget of more than €35 million over the next four years, InCubed is now open for proposals from businesses in 13 participating states (Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). They can ‘pitch their proposition’ through ESA’s Electronic Mailing Invitation to Tender System.

InCubed will, in most cases, co-fund up to 50% of a proposed venture. It can also provide access to ESA expertise and technical support. Proposals must be of sufficient technical readiness and market viability, meaning that the project would eventually be sustained by the market, without further public funding.

For more information or to submit a proposal, click here .