On December 16, 2020, ESA Space Solutions Center Portugal celebrated its 6th anniversary. We launched the project in November 2014, at the Lisbon Science Pavilion, with the presence of institutional partners such as ESA, FCT, the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Economy. The aim was simple, to build and boost a downstream and new space community in Portugal. With academia, incubators, investors and public entities, our stakeholders, and focused on scouting talent and helping makers and founders to make it happen. The list of organizations which have supported us along this path is too long to be fully mentioned here, but one has to highlight ESA, Portugal Space, FCT, Anacom, the Coordination Committee of the Centro Region, the University of Coimbra and the DNA Cascais and UPTEC incubators that were essential in this 1st phase.
After 5 years, the first phase of the program, we have 30 firms founded and supported, more than 100 jobs created, 4.6 M euros in annual turnover (data from 2019) with 78% of this for exports.
Regarding the space-to-Earth technology transfer (ESA Brokers), we had 6 success stories recognized by ESA and almost 30 space technologies identified for commercialization. And in the Ambassador Platform, in the last 5 years we support 16 projects (feasibility studies) that achieved a private investment of 2.5M €.
We can therefore say that there is a clear “product-market fit” and that we are already a scale-up. We have now entered the 2nd phase of the program, which started in 2020. We started this phase by doubling our objectives, which went from 6 startups per year to 12 p/ year, and from a network of 3 incubators located in North, Center and Lisbon and Tagus Valley to assure coverage in all Portugal’s regions.
And now, as we finished 2020, we now have 12 more companies in the portfolio (most of them created this December) and 15 (fifteen!) Incubators that have joined the ESA BIC network.
So welcome, ENARTIN, Eptune Technologies, Field, Fregata Space, GasExpress, LS Engenharia, Mobleet, O.W.L., SpaceEngineer, Spaceway, Staruplo, ViboHealth (new startups from ESA BIC). If some of these names are not yet familiar, it is because they are only just beginning.
But a strong emphasis must also be given to incubators that join this network. They are household names, the backbone of our innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, where one finds high concentration of talent, creativity and makers. They are essential partners and we are grateful to CEiiA, IPN Incubadora, Incuba +, NONAGON, PACT, PARKUrbis, SANJOTEC, Startup Braga, Startup Lisboa, Startup Madeira, TERINOV, UALG TEC START, UA Incubator, UBImedical and UPTEC for aligning with us at ESA Space Solutions.
Now comes 2021. With more responsibilities, that's for sure, but we become a larger and diverse community that has already proven that there is a enough market, talent and technology in the downstream and new space economy in Portugal. ESA Space Solutions Center Portugal, 2nd season. Now in Scaleup Mode.
Since 2014, Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN) has led the first European Space Solutions Centre to host within the same entity and team the three ESA elements promoting downstream businesses: ESA Business Incubation Centre, ESA Technology Brokers and ESA Business Applications Ambassadors. More info at https://space.ipn.pt