News, Technology

The ESA Supports Space Tech Startups

Anna Wall

Amie Haven, Editor / Writer
@uxconnections

Space tech startups are being offered support and mentorship through the new ESA Start-up Competition

Entrepreneurs have been invited to share their innovations in a bid to gain support and mentorship from the European Space Agency (ESA). Startups from ESA Member States are encouraged to showcase their development of space technology in the ESA Start-up Competition new to 2020. 

The ESA is looking to collaborate with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a symbiotic relationship. Startups with creative space solutions will benefit from the power and networks of space agency giants. 

In essence, the ESA is built on collaboration. By harnessing the intellectual and financial resources of its members, the ESA aims to achieve things no single European country could. Extending a collaborative hand to startups helps to boost the ESA’s ability to innovate and problem-solve.

For ambitious SMEs, the ESA Start-up Competition prizes are potentially mouth-watering. Entrants stand a chance of winning one of 3 mentorship and support packages worth between EUR 25,000 and EUR 100,000. 

The winners will also get a chance to attend the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Dubai in October 2020. Space agencies from Japan, Canada, UAE, and Australia are holding similar competitions, which the ESA hopes will lead to further collaboration for space agencies and startups. 

Gaining the support of big space agencies means that startups can fast-track the development of products. It also means getting expert know-how. Space tech startups can’t just focus on the exciting innovations, they must also comply with international standards in space. Established in 1975, the ESA has decades of experience navigating the bureaucracy of space exploration. 

One key requirement for SMEs is that their products are being developed for peaceful purposes. The ESA is not looking for military uses and wants to know how society will benefit from the products being developed. This is in contrast to NASA in the US, where the American space agency has a longstanding relationship with the military.

The ESA is asking: how is technology solving problems in space and on Earth? For SMEs with the answers, the ESA Start-up Competition presents an exciting opportunity. Interested startups can apply online between March 2 and April 15, 2020.

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