The Incubator of the European Space Agency in Greece (ESA BIC Greece) celebrated its 1st Year anniversary with a ceremony on April 5th, 2022.
Government officials, officials of the regional government, prominent figures of the European Space Agency and other ESA BICs, members of the Greek cluster of space technologies and applications, Greek and multinational companies supporting the Greek space ecosystem and the first 5 Greek startups of the ESA BIC Greece attended the event with their physical presence.
Mr. Athanassios Staveris-Polykalas, Secretary General of Telecommunications & Posts of the Ministry of Digital Governance, mentioned at the beginning of the Ceremony: “One year after the establishment of the ESA BIC Greece, we see the first 5 startups that have already benefited from this initiative. Following our goals, as described in the Digital Strategy Book 2020-2025 for space activities, we have created the necessary environment for startups to innovate. Indicatively, I will also mention the establishment of the Helmos Observatory as the first Optical Ground Station of the ESA ScyLight program, and the ESERO office in Greece. The ESA BIC is unquestionably a catalyst for the success of this effort”.
“Bringing ideas to fruition and growing space-enabled start-ups is at the heart of our newly established Directorate of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement at ESA. ESA BIC Greece has joined the ESA BIC family with compelling dynamism and it is already proving an invaluable asset in the Greek Space Sector’” highlighted during her speech Ms. Geraldine Naja, Director of Commercialisation, Industry, and Procurement of ESA.
Mr. Cornelis (Niels) Eldering, Head of ESA Space Solutions Network highlighted that “Entrepreneurship is about finding the right combination of technology, people and business. The ESA BIC Greece startups, we are celebrating today, demonstrate that Greek entrepreneurs are extremely resourceful in bringing those innovation aspects together. We very much welcome them into our ESA startup community”.
Dr. Jorge-A. Sanchez-P., Director of ESA BIC Greece and Co-Founder of Corallia at Athena Research Center, mentioned: “A year ago, due to COVID, we could not launch, as it deserved, the most advanced incubator for startups in Greece. Today we are double happy. We return to normality with the presence in Greece of 120 partners from the European Space Agency and its network of incubators throughout Europe and secondly because we are about to present the first five promising startups of the ESA BIC Greece developing space technologies and applications that want to change and improve our world”.
Ms. Joana Kamenova, Commercialisation Officer and Country Manager of Greece at ESA mentioned “Working with ESA BIC Greece first-hand and seeing the team of Corallia establish themselves among the ESA BIC Network has been a real pleasure. With an excellent first year behind us, I am looking forward to witnessing the growing space startup ecosystem in Greece”.
Highlighting the important role of the ESA BIC Greece for the local ecosystem, the anniversary event was accompanied by important panels of speakers. Dr. Nikos Vogiatzis, co-founder and Director of Development and Operations of Corallia, coordinated the panel of ESA BIC Greece startups with the participation of the five startups that were introduced to the incubator during its first year of operation:: LOCTIO, Cloud Signals, PROMILIST, BitRezus και Circuits Integrated.
The keynote speakers of the second panel were the ESA BIC Managers of three countries, highlighting commonalities and differences of other space ecosystems. Dr. Nanja Strecker – ESA BIC Switzerland Manager & Switzerland Innovation Park Zürich, Mr. Martin Mössler – ESA BIC Austria General Manager & Managing Director Science Park Graz, and Dr. Aurelie Baker – ESA BIC Sud France Manager. The panel was coordinated by Mr. Orfeas Voutyras – ESA BIC Greece Technology Manager and Mrs. Stellina Patelida, ESA BIC Greece PMO & Communication Manager.
Ecosystem advocates and companies are an integral part of the smooth and successful operation of the ESA BIC Greece. Speakers of the third panel were Mr. James Taylor – Venture Partner at HP Tech Ventures, Mr. Ioannis Gkekas – Managing Director of Accenture Applied Intelligence, and Mr. Stellios Bollanos, Cofounder & Director Planetek Hellas, representing the member companies of si-Cluster and HASI. The panel was coordinated by Mrs. Evgenia Giama, ESA BIC Greece Marketing Associate.si
Sponsors of the event, apart from the funding from ESA and the Ministry of Digital Governance are supporters of the Greek space ecosystem and especially, HP Inc./HP Tech Ventures (Platinum sponsor), Accenture Applied Intelligence (Gold sponsor), EFA Ventures (Silver+ sponsor), και ADVEOS, ELFON, Geosystems Hellas, ISD, Planetek Hellas, PRISMA, Raymetrics, Space Hellas, TELETEL, TERRA SPATIUM, (Silver sponsors).
The operation of ESA BIC Greece is the result of the planning of the Ministry of Digital Governance and the European Space Agency (ESA) for the active participation of Greece in the European Space Strategy. Corallia of the Athena Research Center is responsible for the operation of ESA BIC Greece and cooperates closely with ESA to support 25 Greek startups with a subject related to space technologies and services. ESA BIC Greece offers €50,000 in cash, 140 hours of technical and business support, training, access to office space and infrastructure as well as an extensive network of more than 70 supporters, and the right to use the ESA BIC logo. The next application deadline is May 23rd, 2022.