Space: The final frontier – now free to UK start-ups

Start-up companies at the ESA Business Incubation Centre UK (ESA BIC UK) now have free access to tools and services that will enable them to quickly and affordably test their new technologies in space, thanks to an exciting new collaboration with Open Cosmos. 

Traditionally, accessing and using satellite technologies has been an expensive and complex process.  However, Open Cosmos, which only recently completed a business incubation programme at the ESA BIC UK itself, is making space missions available to the masses as a tool to develop and validate new technologies and applications in space, which could be used to solve big global challenges.

This exciting new collaboration builds on these efforts, and now Open Cosmos is providing every ESA BIC UK company with free access to its mission design and satellite hardware tools and services, significantly reducing the amount of time and money needed to get a satellite-based technology business off the ground.  

Managed and part-funded by STFC, the ESA BIC UK provides funding and support for up to 10 space tech start-ups every year.  During its time at the BIC, Open Cosmos achieved a number of major successes as a business, which included launching its first nanosatellite from the International Space Station. It is due to its success and the support received during this time that it sought to collaborate with the ESA BIC UK, to support other space-related companies with the development of their technologies.

Lucille Baudet, Payload Market Developer at Open Cosmos, said: “The ESA BIC UK was the mentor of Open Cosmos during our whole incubation period. We are delighted to continue working together by giving free access to our services to other ESA BIC UK companies. Simplifying the route to orbit will enable start-ups to develop their space technologies and applications, whilst supporting their growth within the space sector."

Dr Sue O’Hare, Operations Manager of ESA BIC UK, said: “I am thrilled to be working with Open Cosmos as we seek to help early-stage companies tackle the same challenges that they faced themselves not so long ago. Open Cosmos has gone from strength to strength in recent times, and it is fantastic that the company will be influencing and assisting ESA BIC UK companies through the kind offer of its technology. I look forward to seeing the benefits of this collaboration which will surely accelerate the successes of many start-ups on the ESA BIC UK programme.”

Part of a wider European network of successful ESA BICs, the ESA BIC UK supports space-related start-ups with a package of technical, business and networking support. It has so far supported 70 UK start-up companies, and now incorporates three business incubation sites at Harwell, Edinburgh and Daresbury. Find out more at the website.


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Last updated: 07 December 2018

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