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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


2020 application deadlines: 3 April, 3 June, 23 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








  • Agrilenz
    Agrilenz is a decision support service for livestock farmers and environmental policy managers, helping make better decisions by combining Earth Observation data, farm measurements and environmental data. The company is developing user-centric decision support capability for managing and benchmarking performance for pasture and feed management; environment and natural capital monitoring; farm operations management; and strategic planning for farm and farmer. Agrilenz is using advancements in Analytics, Earth Observation, Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence to offer a comprehensive yet simple-to-use service.
  • B2Space
    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.
  • Crover
    Crover is on a mission to help grain-storekeepers reduce losses and maintain optimum storage conditions by commercialising the first robotic device (a Crover) able to move through grains stored in bulk (e.g. in sheds/silos). A Crover navigates through grains while scanning them for conditions (e.g. local temperature and moisture); sends the data to the cloud using low-altitude satellite data transfer; and delivers simplified condition reports to grain-storekeepers, alerting them as soon as values are above the norm.
  • Lanterne
    Lanterne uses open source information and high-resolution satellite images to help individuals and organisations based in conflict zones to navigate safely. Whereas Google Maps shows the quickest route from point A to B, Lanterne shows the safest possible route. The company is working closely with the top international organisations to achieve our vision to save lives and improve economic development in fragile states.
    LIFT ME OFF is enabling a safe and sustainable use of space through the development of underlying technologies (in propulsion, robotics and in-orbit situational awareness) necessary to enable future autonomous vehicles for in-orbit transportation, manufacturing, repair and recovery. Technologies include propulsion technology (moving and de-orbiting small satellites; proximity operations and docking; refuelling systems) and autonomous vision systems (using artificial intelligence; tracking satellite behaviour; surveying space, asteroids and planets).
  • Lumi Space
    Lumi Space uses laser stations on the ground to send power to satellite solar panels in LEO. Power is a key limitation in 'new space' – as satellites have shrunk, an increasing proportion of their mass and financial budget is spent on power infrastructure. Addressing this issue is key to further growth in the small-satellite industry. The company has received pre-seed funding from Entrepreneur First, as well as support from the ESA BIC UK and the Institute of Physics, and is engaged in collaborative research and development with universities and satellite companies.
  • Moses
    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.
    NANTRACK is developing the next generation vehicle-tracking device. Current market tracking devices are vulnerable to mobile network coverage issues preventing communication to and from the tracker. NANTRACK has innovative solutions using satellite communications, enabling vehicles to be located and disabled remotely without relying on the mobile network.
  • OrbAstro
    Tiny satellites operating in large flocks. OrbAstro fills the technology between operations of a single satellite and operations of a flock. This manifests itself as a small plug-in module for satellites that wholly enables formation flight capabilities, inter-satellite communications and autonomous flock operations. Flocking is highly relevant to most existing markets, many emerging markets, and is a key enabler in several markets that want to exist.
  • Orbital Cargo Drone
    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.
  • Oxford Earth Observation (OxEO)
    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.
  • Pidge
    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.
  • Responsive Access
    Responsive Access simplifies access to space for CubeSats through the integration of launch services, enabled by proprietary software. We will offer a complete 'one-stop shop' for the space launch sector, from campaign planning to post-launch activities. The system will deliver optimised launch matching (based on simulations), automated manifest planning, batch testing of CubeSats, and insurance (through API).
  • Smart Green Shipping Alliance
    Smart Green Shipping designs 21st century renewable energy propulsion solutions for global shipping. Planning to launch 100% renewable fuel-autonomous ships by 2030, the company works collaboratively with cargo owners, ship owners, naval architects, marine engineers, data scientists, legal and commercial professionals to create fit-for-the-future whole system solutions. Detailed, verifiable and trustworthy analysis of the availability of wind, and other primary renewable energies, is the key enabler that will unlock renewables to help power the global fleet into the future.
  • StressMap
    StressMap Ltd offers industry an “intelligent capability” for measuring residual stresses in complex geometry structures of any size at competitive cost. The company is developing a new adaptive robotic system capable of automatically mapping surface stresses across manufactured components of complex shape for space sector applications. With support from ESA BIC UK, StressMap is working with Airbus Defence & Space (UK) and MRX France to demonstrate what the X-Raybot can do, for the design, advanced manufacture & inspection of satellite propulsion systems.
  • Yatto
    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: 03 February 2020


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