We are creating a unified UKRI website that brings together the existing research council, Innovate UK and Research England websites.
If you would like to be involved in its development let us know.

European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre UK

In an increasingly fierce global marketplace, the companies that survive and flourish are those that innovate. Today’s technology savvy consumer is pushing the boundaries of what is possible and the company of tomorrow must be fast to react.

Utilising space technology can offer ambitious entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage within their sector. In partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), STFC provides the support and funding that start-up companies need to turn their ideas into profitable products and services using space technology, or to develop technologies for use in space.

As part of our business incubation offering, STFC manages ESA’s Business Incubation Centre UK (“ESA BIC UK”) across its sites, offering successful applicants fully equipped office space, as well as access to all the benefits of being part of our flourishing and unique network of science and innovation campuses. Businesses work alongside, and in collaboration with, other businesses, STFC scientists and engineers, accessing a whole wealth of expertise.

Other benefits include:

  • A cash incentive for design, prototyping, IP protection and market studies of over £40,000;
  • Access to STFC’s test facilities, laboratories/workshops and technical expertise, including up to 40 hours of expert support and 40 hours per year of access to lab facilities;
  • Hands-on business development support/advice;
  • Access to a range of funding, investment, networking and collaboration opportunities.

STFC is extremely proud of the success stories that have come out of the programme since it began in 2011 and has followed the progress of more than 50 companies as they graduate. For more information on these companies, both past and present, please visit ESA’s Space Solutions Portal website.

ESA BIC UK brochure


2019 application deadlines: 26 February, 24 May and 26 September

If you wish to speak to someone at STFC about the ESA BIC please contact:
Enquiries email
T: +44 (0)1235 446075

left-hand quote mark ESA BIC UK has supported Open Cosmos to achieve rapid growth through its extensive networks and superb expertise within the UK space industry. Last year we celebrated the launch of our first satellite into space thanks to the support of the STFC team. right-hand quote mark

Rafel Jordi Siquier – CEO and founder of Open Cosmos

left-hand quote mark Since beginning the ESA BIC UK programme, we have felt like we are part of an amazing community that consists of other start-ups doing fantastic things with space technology with whom we have collaborated with as well as, a great team of experts who have facilitated the growth of our business and networks. right-hand quote mark

Riham Satti – Co-founder of Mevitae


B2SPACE is developing a high-altitude launching system and near-space operations

Based on existing technology, improved and adapted to maximise performance and provide affordable access to space.

A stratospheric balloon will lift a self- operative platform from where to deploy the launcher.

Saving cost by skipping the highest density part of the atmosphere and gaining altitude up to 35 km, a smaller and cheaper rocket will deliver the payload into the required orbits.


Deep Planet applies machine learning to interpret satellite images into actionable insights for precision agriculture

Our analytics provide a cost-effective and scalable solution to farmers and the wider ecosystem to enable food sustainability and resilience through

  • Early detection, diagnosis, and control of plant stress and diseases
  • Environmental stress detection
  • Yield prediction and crop growth monitoring.

The company is founded by a global and diverse team, from University of Oxford.


Moses Mobility is a marketplace for shared taxi rides  

We focus on the first and last mile of scheduled transport journeys. Individuals travelling from point A to point B can now find fellow travellers going the same way and share the cost of a taxi for the last bit of the journey.

We partner with transport operators on the demand side and multiple providers such as Uber, Gett and Karhoo on the supply side.


Orbital Cargo Drone designs, builds and operates small orbital launchers for the satellite market below 160 kg to 500 km SSO

Our system will help customers launch their small satellites on all orbital inclinations, with a short waiting time and at an affordable price.

The vehicle’s unique architecture combines the use of green storable propellants, reusability and the mobile launch system to increase cadence and launch flexibility, and reduce costs and risks.

OxEO delivers environmental insight through earth observation

A decision support tool for investors, companies and authorities, the platform integrates an observation layer, a modelling layer and an asset layer. We use satellite imagery to identify and locate areas of interest. Our models help predict how these areas may change in the future. This has implications for the value of local assets. OxEO enhances the quality of the decisions that our clients make about these assets.


Green Sea Guard uses real-time remote telemetry to help reduce ship exhaust emissions

Exhaust gases and particulates contribute to degenerative diseases, ocean acidification and climate change. We use machine learning and our own algorithms to detect and track engine faults that are developing, providing a good business case for ship owners to move swiftly towards regulatory compliance. We also serve regulators directly through automation.

We are working with some of the world’s most forward-thinking ship owners to reduce emissions today, and hope to support them through energy transition.


Pidge is developing a software platform that helps fitness instructors and sports coaches become more productive

We are developing an EGNOS-assisted GPS tracking system that allows coaches to provide more fine-tuned feedback and course corrections in sports such as cycling, rowing, gliding and sailing, in a cost-efficient manner.

Pidge is a participant in the Vodafone Brightsparks mentoring programme and an alumnus of Oxford University Innovation.


A practical active shielding device protecting satellite electronics from space radiation

Instead of passively shielding the satellite, our technology allows to deflect particles away before they can reach the circuitry.

We are developing a system that reduces radiation dosage inside the space craft. This can allow for a new age of satellite applications with sensitive, modern, commercial off the shelf electronics and sensors at harsh environments.


Yatto is developing an Edge Computing connectivity platform for advanced industrial use cases requiring low latency, high bandwidth, and high power efficiency in an easy to deploy and scale pop-out network

Through the innovative use of Machine Learning protocols Yatto enables the native Thing2Thing meshing required for automation in edge and distributed AI apps.

We enable new use cases such as intelligent power load management between end points, and cost-effective large-scale asset monitoring and automation in remote industrial sites.



Last updated: 19 August 2019


Science and Technology Facilities Council
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