New ideas, technologies, products and services are essential for the progress of humankind. Space and its groundbreaking developments have always been on the forefront of advancing our lives on Earth and in space. One major reason why space related technology, products and services make life better on Earth is technology transfer. At the same time, space profits from new technologies originating from non-space sectors.
The following two prime examples show how innovative startups are able to revolutionise industry status quos and how smart use of space technology and data enables tremendous success. They also reveal how the European Space Agency (ESA) Business Incubation Centres (BICs) Bavaria and Darmstadt deliver powerful boost for entrepreneurs.
UAS Startup MAVinci Aquired by Intel
The ESA BIC Darmstadt startup MAVinci is a manufacturer and developer of unmanned aerial drones and software systems. They specialise in developing and offering airborne documentation and surveying solutions, like, for example, in the field of civil survey and mapping-UAS as well as exterior intrusion detection. This is achieved by using a completely automatic small aircraft with integrated camera and software for planning, control, surveillance, and further processing. MAVinci GmbH, meanwhile staffed with 20, is headquartered in St. Leon-Rot in Baden-Wuerttemberg, between Heidelberg and Stuttgart. In November 2016 Intel acquired the successful company from the ESA incubator.
MAVinci developed a complete unmanned aircraft system, which today’s version is the Intel Sirius™ Pro UAS, to carry out surveying and mapping projects. This is a fully automatable light aircraft with a built-in camera and software for planning, management, control and processing.
Building Radar – Discovering Building Projects 2-3 Years in Advance
Building Radar provides a worldwide, satellite-based online search engine for new construction projects. This innovative solution opens new doors for the use of precision satellite imagery worldwide. The startup was incubated at ESA BIC Bavaria for two years. In that time period, Building Radar was awarded the Overall Winner of the Copernicus Masters 2015 competition and won the Space App Camp Barcelona 2016, both initiatives organised by AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen.
The startup has been supported by ESA BIC Bavaria’s technical partner – the German Aerospace Center (DLR) – in the fields of image processing, data sources, image classification and urban monitoring. Paul Indinger, Managing Director of Building Radar, describes the cooperation of Building Radar and ESA BIC Bavaria: “The ESA BIC Bavaria network has been a major part of boosting our company business right from the start of our collaboration in 2015. ESA BIC Bavaria thus helped Building Radar to become the global market leader in tracking building projects with the help of satellite picture technology. ESA BIC Bavaria serves as an essential basis for our development from a three-man startup into a globally operating high-tech company. I wholeheartedly declare that ESA BIC Bavaria is one of the key elements in our success. I highly recommend ESA BIC Bavaria to other technology startups.”
Do you want to get your business idea off the ground just like Building Radar and MAVinci?
Then check out the INNOspace Masters ESA BIC Startup Challenge, jointly powered by the ESA Business Incubation Centres (BICs) Bavaria and Darmstadt. It is specifically tailored to SMEs, startups, research teams and students. The competition is scouting the best new business ideas and -models. The technology transfer ideas from Earth into space and vice versa could include:
- Mobility applications/solutions
- Innovative optimisation solutions
- Increased efficiency and customer orientation solutions
- Components or subsystems
- Or any other ideas in the space sector
The overall objective of the ESA BIC Challenge is to support startups with their successful entry into the space market at ESA BIC Darmstadt or ESA BIC Bavaria.
The incubation programme is designed to help establish a new company and acquire customers with a new space product or service within two years. Check out the benefits:
- The winner will receive assistance in transforming the business concept into a viable business plan
- The winner will receive support in preparing an application for one of the two German ESA BIC facilities with the opportunity of EUR 50,000 in funding
- The ESA BICs also offer access to a Europe-wide network of experts, which can assist the winner in both the technological and business-related aspects of the young company’s development
The European Space Agency’s two business incubators in Germany have already supported the foundation of over 200 companies in their effort to promote the transfer of space technologies to countless areas of commercial application. These include new materials, Earth observation, logistics, medical technology, mobility, navigation, and big data to name just a few.
You could be the next one with your business idea! Make it happen and register now for the ESA BIC Challenge of the INNOspace Masters. The Submission phase ends on 8 February. All winners will be awarded live on stage during the Awards Ceremony on 3 July 2019.
About the INNOspace Masters ideas competition
The INNOspace Masters competition is being organised by the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) as an embedded component of the INNOspace® initiative. AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, an international networking and branding company for the European space programmes, has been implementing the competition since 2015 on behalf of DLR. Partners of the competition are Airbus, OHB and the ESA Business Incubation Centres (BICs) Bavaria and Darmstadt.