The space sector yields a lot of specific technological knowledge. This knowledge can also be put to good use on Earth. NSO encourages enthusiastic, creative starting entrepreneurs to set to work on space technology via the ESA Business Incubation Centre.

The European Space Agency launched ESA-BIC in 2004. Starting entrepreneurs received help to design and produce new products that make use of space technology. Other ESA Member States saw the advantages of this approach and have set up comparable initiatives.

After six successful years, the incubator was relocated from ESTEC to the Noordwijk Space Business Park. Although the Space Business Innovation Centre (SBIC) is just a stone's throw away from all that knowledge and those contacts, it is now largely funded by the Dutch government.

The aim of the ESA-BIC programme is to help forty new start-ups in each funding period (four years). Besides technical support from ESA's technical centre ESTEC, there is also a lot of attention for the administrative, marketing and financial aspects of a business.

The ESA-BIC programme is open to everybody who wants to make use of space technology, which does of course include the use of satellite data. Proposals are assessed by ESA, SBIC, NSO and Rabobank Bollenstreek. Rabobank is a partner in the programme and offers the starters financing possibilities.

As the representative of the Dutch government, NSO agrees upon the funding and the technical realisation of the programme with ESA. The day-to-day management of the programme and supervision of the starting entrepreneurs has been outsourced to SBIC since 2010.

Further information on the ESA-BIC programme: