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ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) are the largest network of incubators supporting space-related startups in Europe. Their objective is to support entrepreneurs with space-based business ideas and help them develop their product while getting their company off the ground. In the process, ESA BICs also contribute to the growth of space clusters across Europe. Each incubation centre is managed by local champions who connect their ESA BIC to local industry, universities, research organisations, government, and investor communities. All ESA BICs are embedded in local communities, but also have strong regional and national links. The network provides excellent opportunities to connect startups with new business partners across Europe. The ESA BICs seek entrepreneurs who develop applications that use space-based systems (such as navigation, Earth Observation, or communication satellite systems); use space technologies in a non-space domain; and/or develop innovative products and services for the space sector. This European-wide network fosters annually the creation of more than 200 startups across Europe. To date, ESA BICs have supported about 1450 companies. The ESA BIC Alumni contribute to an ever-larger part of the space economy, attracting funding that in total exceeds what many European countries invest in Space. ESA BICs create the future of space!

The Greek Ministry of Digital Governance and ESA have identified the creation of ESA BIC Greece as a key element in the development plan of the Greek Space Industry. The objective of ESA BIC Greece is to strengthen the community of successful space-related startups in Greece by supporting 25 startups over a period of 7 years under the ESA BIC scheme so that they can develop their business and their technology until they are ready to leave the incubation phase and continue operating and growing on their own. ESA BIC Greece provides high-quality business incubation services to ESA BIC Greece incubatees in full compliance with the ESA common framework. ESA BIC Greece is not only essential in supporting entrepreneurs and startups from the development of a business idea to full commercialisation but also underpins the creation, growth, and strengthening of the space cluster in Greece, contributes to the national innovation and space strategies, encourages further uptake of space-based services, supports the transfer of technologies from or to the space sector, and creates jobs and economic growth that are so much needed in Greece.

Corallia, a unit of the Research Center Athena, is tasked with operating and growing ESA BIC Greece. This is accomplished in collaboration with more than 70 supporting organisations, including Ministries and Public Agencies, Universities, Research Centres, Large companies and SMEs, Financing Institutions, Associations and Networks, other ESA BICs, and Civil Society NFPs in Greece and ESA Member States. more than 70 supporting organisations, including Ministries and Public Agencies, Universities, Research Centres, Large companies and SMEs, Financing Institutions, Associations and Networks, other ESA BICs, and Civil Society NFPs in Greece and ESA Members.

Incubation takes place at Corallia’s facilities (innohub), located at Kifissias Ave. 44, 15125 Maroussi, Attica, Greece. The innohub is a reference point for the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Greece. Corallia has been offering incubation services since 2007. offering fully operational incubators since 2007.

ESA BIC Greece provides an extensive support package focused on technical, business, legal, and financial support, and networking. It includes: a) the most experienced Incubator Team in Greece that has supported successfully more than 500 startups; b) the right of use of the ESA BIC brand; c) 50 k€ in cash (non-equity funding); d) case-by-case opportunities to access high-end infrastructure, equipment, resources, specific expertise, HW, software packages and licenses, and data with a value of around 100 k€; e) access to other financial instruments; f) 80 hours of technical support; g) 50 hours of business development support; h) 10 hours of IPR/legal advice; i) entrepreneurial training; j) access on favourable terms to office space and business facilities at the innohub; k) access to the international network of ESA Alliance and Investors Network; l) access to the extensive Network of Corallia, si-Cluster Members, and ESA BIC support partners; m) access to participate in a variety of ESA events and networking opportunities.

ESA BIC Greece has a broad network of partners who support the initiative. These are partners at the ESA Partnerships for Commercialisation, the ESA Investor Network and the Local Supporters. More specific:

  • The ESA Partnerships for Commercialisation offers significant perks to startups from Airbus, Euroconsult, OVHcloud, Planet, etc. This Partnership is expanding.
  • The ESA Investor Network is an initiative to increase the relations among space startups and potential space investors and includes among others 5g ventures, Audacia, Expon Capital, Karista (CosmiCapital), Promus Ventures, Armilar Ventures, OTB Ventures, Blue Ocean Ventures, Herius Capital, CDP Venture Capital, Move Capital, Lakestar, Matterwave, Einstein Industries Ventures, C4 Ventures, StarTech Ventures, Omnes Capital, Red River West, Innogest Capital, Primo Ventures, Tikehau Ace Capital, StarQuest Capital, 360 Capital, Atlantic Labs, Expansion Ventures, Cenciarini, Creative Destruction Lab (HEC Paris), Deep Ocean Capital, EIV (Einstein Industry Ventures), Indaco Venture Partners, Innogest Vertical Funds, Matterwave, Orbital Ventures (Promus), Seraphim, Shift4Good, SNO Ventures, etc. More information here.
  • The ESA BIC Greece Local Supporters provide a variety of benefits such as business coaching, technical support, mentoring and IPR/legal advice and various perks. Supporters from the local Industry include Adveos, Akronic, Alma Technologies, Artemis Aerosurvey, EFA Ventures, ELFON, Emtech Space, FEAC Engineering, Geomatics, Geosystems Hellas, GET, Heron Engineering, HTR, Inasco Hellas, Irida Labs, ISD, Planetek Hellas, Prisma Electronics, Raymetrics, Satways, Sitael Hellas, Space Hellas, Teletel, Terra Spatium, Thales Hellas, Accenture, HP, Microsoft, etc. Supporters from the local Academic ecosystem include Athena Research Center, Agricultural University of Athens, Aristtotle University of Thessaloniki, Harokopio University, National Kapodistrian University of Athens, National Technical University of Athens, Technical University of Crete, University of Aegean, University of Patras, Hellenic Association of Space Industry, National Centre of Scientific Reasearch Demokritos, Athens University of Economics and Business, Democritus University of Thrace, University of Peloponnese, University of Piraeus, University of Thessaly, University of West Attica.

You may find all the ESA BIC Greece Support Partners here. Their offerings are listed in the Permanent Open Call Package.

ESA BIC Greece will select a total of 25 startups in 5 years, from March 2021 to February 2026. The incubation period for the last startups may be completed up to 2027. You can find on our You can find at our website the catalogue of the startups that have already been accepted by ESA BIC Greece.

Each startup receives incubation services for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years. The length of the incubation period is proposed by the applicants and is finalized after discussions with the ESA BIC Greece team upon selection. Based on the specific strengths and weaknesses of the startup, each incubated company receives a custom incubation program consisting of various sprints. ESA BIC Greece supports incubatees in increasing their Technology, Business, Customer, HR, IPR, and Funding Readiness Levels through the monitoring and completion of specific milestones that are based on the real-win-worth scheme.

Please address any questions related to ESA BIC Greece to or explore our website at and social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube).


To be accepted for incubation at ESA BIC Greece, the applicant must present a business idea with a valid Space Connection. Your idea should be about supporting or utilising space systems or exploiting space technology in a non-space domain in one of the following areas: a) Downstream applications (based on satellite systems for Earth Observation, Navigation, and Communications); b) Upstream/New Space (exploiting new technology in the space domain/supplying the space sector); c) Technology transfer from space (Hardware or Software, Knowledge or IPR). The space-related solution must be central to the business and show a high degree of innovation. Further elaboration on the assessment of the Space Connection is provided in the Permanent Open Call document of the ESA BIC Greece Permanent Open Call Package. Details about the technologies and applications that have already been accepted by ESA BIC Greece can be found here.

Legal entities established in Greece (not older than five years) and natural persons who are residents with a working permit within Greece are eligible to submit applications. Natural persons are required to demonstrate readiness for establishment and registration of a legal entity at the time of submission of their application. A contract with an applicant can only be signed when the establishment and registration of the corresponding legal entity have been completed and the legal entity has acquired full legal capacity. Furthermore, the product/service of the application needs to have a valid space connection. This means that the Applicant’s product or service must be based on a transfer of space technology to, and/or utilisation of a space system in a non-space environment (spin-off), or exploitation of non-space technology in the space market (spin-in). In case of doubt, applicants shall contact the ESA BIC Greece Team for further guidance. A full list of the applicant requirements is included in the Application Package (Requirements Checklists of the Cover Letter Template).

No, you will, however, need to do so in Greece before signing the incubation contract. During the proposal submission, the applicant shall demonstrate readiness for the establishment and registration of a legal entity.

To successfully apply to ESA BIC Greece, aspiring entrepreneurs have to fill in the Cover Letter, Business Plan, and Incubation Proposal documents strictly based on the corresponding templates provided as part of the ESA BIC Greece Permanent Open Call Package. Further instructions about the expected content and methodology to be followed for the completion of these documents are provided in the form of guidelines within these templates. All relevant information regarding the application process can be found at

Applicants are required to closely follow the instructions provided in the Open Call Package when producing and submitting their proposal and follow the information channels of ESA BIC Greece. The proposal consists of a) a Cover Letter, b) an Incubation Proposal, and c) a Business Plan. Templates with further instructions are provided in the Open Call Package. Only those Applicants that fulfil all formal requirements, as listed in the Requirements Checklists of the Cover Letter Template, will be accepted for evaluation. Applicants should also carefully read the contractual documentation in the Draft Incubation Contract (also included in the Open Call Package).

The evaluation of all applications received is managed by ESA BIC Greece and follows the common ESA BIC scheme and procedures.

Once a published submission deadline has passed, the ESA BIC Greece Tender Opening Board (TOB) first assesses the formal aspects of applications received before the submission deadline. If a non-compliance of a minor nature is found, the applicant may be asked to address it in an updated proposal within 48 hours. If the proposal is found non-admissible, the applicant will be informed, and the reason will be explained. In such a case, an applicant is eligible to submit a revised proposal at a later date.

If the application is compliant with the formal requirements, applicants will be invited to hold a presentation to the ESA BIC Greece Tender Evaluation Board (TEB). The evaluation will typically take place a few weeks after the submission deadline. The TEB consists of representatives of ESA, ESA BIC Greece, and the Greek Space ecosystem, as well as, depending on the nature of the application, other experts. The evaluation board will also have the opportunity to ask the applicants questions related to their proposal. The application and the presentation will be marked against criteria, taking weighting factors into account.

All applicants will be notified in writing about the outcome of the evaluation. The applicant may require an oral debriefing explaining the reason the application was successful or not. ESA BIC Greece will enter contract negotiations with successful applicants, taking the comments of the evaluation board into account. ESA BIC Greece has the right not to place a contract if, three months after the notification to a successful applicant, no contract has been signed. Additionally, ESA BIC Greece has the right not to place a contract if the (intended) legal entity presented in the application is different from the actual established and registered legal entity. The period between receipt of a proposal and contract placement is less than 2 months.

The TOB consists of ESA and Corallia representatives and has to ensure that applications fulfil the formal criteria set out in the ESA BIC Manual. The TEB consists of ESA, Corallia and si-Cluster representatives, and other experts, and conducts the evaluation of the applications. Every applicant presents the content of the application in person to the TEB to allow the TEB to raise clarification points in a questions and answers session. After the evaluation, the results are communicated to the applicant within a few weeks. Applicants require a minimum overall weighted score of 60 to be selected for contract negotiation and over 40 for any specific criterion.

The evaluation criteria are the following: a) Formal Aspects (ON/OFF); b) Background and Experience (25%); c) Technology/Service (20%); d) Value proposition (20%); e) Business Modelling and Risk (15%); and f) Activity Proposal (20%). The evaluation criteria and their descriptions are provided in full detail in the Open Call Package.

Fill out the form. ESA BIC Greece will provide feedback and advice related to the next stages accordingly. For fairness purposes, the feedback and advice received will only be related to the Formal Aspects of the application and the Space Connection assessment of the idea.

There is a permanent Open Call for 2021-2026, with application cut-off dates and evaluation cycles per year. Check for the next cut-off date at

The evaluation process takes less than 2 months and an incubation can start with successful applicants 2 and a half months from the application cut-off date.

Yes. However, interested parties cannot apply more than twice, unless they are otherwise prompted by ESA BIC Greece. Upon rejection, ESA BIC Greece usually encourages applicants to reapply if there is potential to become an ESA BIC Greece startup in the future.

Yes, all individuals participating in the TOB and TEB and having access to the applications sign a secrecy and confidentiality agreement.

Yes, a University spin-off company under the law 4846/2021 can apply.

No, there is no Technology Readiness Level as a strict prerequisite. During the TEB, the technical feasibility of each application is studied case-by-case. As the scope of ESA BIC Greece is to support startup businesses, the startups are expected to be able to reach a TRL6+ by the end of the incubation. Considering the maximum duration of the incubation (2 years), a starting TRL3+ may be a proper initial status.


The cash incentive of ESA BIC Greece to the startups is paid as follows: a) 20 k€ upon signature of the Incubation Contract; b) 20 k€ upon successful Mid-Term Review; c) 10 k€ upon successful Final Review, including the fulfilment of all obligations under the Incubation Contract. The maximum financial contribution is released when the Activity is performed in full, and proof of the developed product or service is delivered. Incubatees deliver a Cost Report (Annexed to the Final Report) to ESA BIC Greece at the end of the Contract Term, listing all costs incurred, with related invoices and proof of payments. A Costs Report Template has been prepared to facilitate and organise cost reporting.

No, ESA BIC Greece does not take any equity in the incubated startups.

The incentive budget shall be used by the startup for product development (e.g., components, prototypes, software, third-party expertise, market research, and validation), and can be used for Intellectual PR (e.g., rights in copyright, patents, know-how, Confidential Information, database rights, rights in trademarks and designs, and applications for registration). In exceptional cases, the incentive funding can be used for travel if the trip is related to the product development and only upon prior approval by ESA BIC Greece. The incentive funding shall be used for activities described in the contract between the startup and the ESA BIC Greece. Any major deviations will require a CCN (Contract Change Notice) at the latest a month before the end of the contract.

No, the incentive funding cannot be used for direct labour costs, rent, or other operational costs. Moreover, it cannot be used to pay taxes or duties such as value-added tax (VAT), customs duties, capital accumulation tax, etc. except for non-recoverable VAT as per national legislation.

No, the incentive funding shall be spent by the startup in Greece, unless the product/service is not available in the territory or is only available at significantly higher price. Even in this case, prior approval by ESA BIC Greece is required.


No, the applicant and startup own all Intellectual Property Rights arising out of the activity performed during the evaluation and incubation periods. IP rights are described in detail in the Open Call Package, Article 11 of the ESA BIC Greece Contract template.

No, it is not mandatory. ESA BIC Greece incubated companies may operate on their own premises. ESA BIC Greece startups are given the option to establish their company in the ESA BIC Greece premises, have an office or desk, and use the ESA BIC Greece business centre, all at preferential prices.

No, there is no need for relocation to Athens. However, the startup shall consider that a number of meetings will be held at the innohub with physical presence.

No, it is up to the startup to propose the length of the incubation required. This can range from 12 to 24 months.


The team at ESA BIC Greece is here to support you and your team to be successful.