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THE INCUBATOR AND OUR SERVICES
The ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) are the largest network of space incubators in the World. Their objective is to support entrepreneurs with a space-connected business idea and growing clusters of space-related startups across Europe. All ESA BICs are managed by local champions who connect their ESA BIC to the local industry, universities, research organisations, government, and investor communities. This makes the ESA BICs very well embedded in the local communities as well as the place of choice for all space-related innovation and business. Tapping into this excellence provides rich opportunities to get products and services off the ground and market ready. This European-wide network fosters annually the creation of more than 200 startups across Europe. To date, ESA BICs have helped starting about 1200 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 the ESA BIC Greece is to strengthen the community of successful space-related startups in Greece by supporting 25 startups over the period of 5 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 afterwards.
Corallia, a unit of the Research Center Athena, is tasked with operating and growing the ESA BIC Greece. This is accomplished in collaboration with more than 65 supporting organisations. Those supporters are 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 is offering fully operational incubators since 2007.
ESA BIC Greece provides an extensive support package focused on technical, business, legal, financial support, and networking. It includes: a) the most experienced Incubator Team in Greece that has supported successfully more than 500 startups, a) right of use of the ESA BIC brand, b) 50,000€ in cash (non-equity funding), c) 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 100.000€, d) access to other financial instruments, e) at least 80 hours of technical support, f) at least 50 hours of business development support, g) at least 10 hours of IPR/legal advice, h) entrepreneurial training in the form of bootcamps and customised workshops, i) access on favourable terms to office space and business facilities at the innohub, j) access to the international network of ESA, the ESA Space Solutions Network and Alliance, k) access to the extensive Network of Corallia, si-Cluster Members, and ESA BIC support partners.
ESA BIC Greece has a broad network of partners who support the initiative. Find out more here: https://www.esa-bic.gr/supporting-partners/
ESA BIC Greece will select in total 25 startups in 5 years, from March 2021 to February 2026. The incubation period for the last startups to be selected will be completed in 2027.
Each startup will receive 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. Incubation is organized around various sprints with specific milestones to achieve per startup.
APPLICATION AND EVALUATION
Your idea should be about supporting or utilizing space systems or exploiting space technology in a non-space domain, in one of the following areas: a) Downstream applications (Earth Observation, Satellite Navigation, Satellite Communications), b) Upstream/NewSpace (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.
Legal entities established in Greece (not older than five years), and natural persons, who are resident with a working permit within Greece are eligible to submit applications. Natural persons are required to demonstrate readiness of 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 has been completed and the legal entity had acquired full legal capacity.
Furthermore, the product/serfvice of the application needs to have a valid space connection. This means that the Applicant’s product or service is 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 Checklist 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 of establishment and registration of a legal entity.
Yes, you can find all relevant information regarding the application documents and process at https://www.esa-bic.gr/apply/
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 the 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 Checklist of the Cover Letter Template, will be accepted for evaluation. Applicants should also carefully read the contractual documentation in the Draft Incubation Contract. The application shall include a clear, explicit, and unambiguous statement whereby the Applicant has read, understood, and accepts the terms and conditions contained in the contractual documentation.
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, 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 this 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 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, and, depending on the nature of the application, other experts. The evaluation board will also have the opportunity to ask questions to the applicants. 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 in case 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 and Corallia 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 mark of 60 to be selected for contract negotiation and over 40 for any specific citerion.
The evaluation criteria are the following: a) Formal Aspects (ON/OFF), b) Background & Experience (25%), c) Technology/Service (20%), d) Value proposition (20%), e) Business Modelling and Risk (15%), f) Activity Proposal (20%). The evaluation criteria and their description 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.
Please send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply to you soon.
There is a permanent Open Call for 2021-2026, with cut-off dates applying: there are 2-3 Application cut-off dates and related evaluations per year. Check our website for the cut-off dates at https://www.esa-bic.gr/apply.
The evaluation process takes around 2 months from the application cut-off to the start of the incubation.
Yes. In fact, ESA BIC Greece usually encourages applicants to re-apply if there is potential to become an ESA BIC Greece startup in the future.
Yes, all individuals participating to the TOB and TEB and have access to the applications shall 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 per se. During the TEB, the technical feasibility of each application is studied case-by-case. However, as the scope of the ESA BIC is to support startup businesses and not fundamental R&D projects, 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 contribution of ESA BIC Greece to the startups shall be paid in the following manner: a) 20,000€ upon signature of the Incubation Contract and, if applicable, proof of IPR access/license; b) 20,000€ upon successful Mid Term Review and delivery of all related deliverables; c) 10,000€ upon successful Final Review and delivery of all deliverables, including the startup fulfilment of all other obligations under the Incubation Contract.
No, ESA BIC Greece does not take any equity in the incubated startups.
The incentive budget shall be used by the startup to outsource tasks in the frame of IP or/and prototype development (or breadboard or demonstration or product, etc.) or/and business development (e.g., market studies, internationalisation and scalability activities, due diligence, etc.).
No, the cash incentive by ESA BIC Greece cannot cover direct staff costs of the startup.
No, the applicant and startup own all Intellectual Property Rights arising out of the activity performed under the evaluation and incubation period. 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.
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.
STARTUP WITH A STRONG PARTNER
The team at ESA BIC Greece is here to support you and your team to be successful.