Smart Industry

Opportunities to build business with space technology

space technology

Today, people use satellite signals to get somewhere, many of us produce electricity with solar panels originating in space and the quality of intraocular lenses is checked with space optics. But do you realize that there are many more technologies first developed and used in space and now available for you?

Hence the decision of ESA (European Space Agency) and BELSPO (Belgian Science Policy Office) to award the task to manage ESA Space Solutions Belgium to Verhaert Masters in Innovation. “The goal is to connect entrepreneurs and R&D with space technologies on Earth and to stimulate new space initiatives”, says Sam Waes, program director of Space Solutions Belgium. That means either exploiting a space technology in a non-space related business or using a technology from Earth for an application related to space. This way ESA Space Solutions Belgium is the bridge between space and terrestrial industry and entrepreneurs. This role is been executed through different tools such as technology transfer, business incubation, business applications, funding programs…

Launch ESA Space Solutions
Proof of concept project funding

To support companies in innovating with space technology, ESA Space Solutions opened a call for Technology Transfer Proposals projects. The Call allows both space and non-space organizations to submit proposals for developing technology transfer proof of concepts. “The selected companies get 50 000 euro to set up technical proof of concept project”, explains Sam Waes. ” ESA will select 6 proof of concepts proposals. Each project should be executed in maximum 6 months.” The selected innovators will also have access to the ESA patent database and technologies.

More information on this demonstrator funding

Closure date of the actual call is April 16th.

Business Incubation program

“Another way ESA Space Solutions Belgium wants to stimulate the use of space technology is the Business Incubation program”, continues Sam Waes. “Start-ups that are not older than 5 years and are thinking of using space solutions, can get a wide range of support. The selected companies will for example get 2 year of business development support and advice. They will also get funding up to 50 000 euro and have easy access to space experts. For the moment this program is not very well know yet, we still have possibilities for funding.

More information on how to participate in the incubator program

Business Applications support

Is the project concept further developed using satellite navigation, communication or Earth observation data? Then ESA Space Solutions Belgium also has the ESA Business Applications program to support the development and short-term commercialization of these applications. Applicants can receive zero-equity funding to help cover the expenses of developing a space-enabled application or service (from 50% up to 100% of the project cost). Upcoming thematic calls will include Space for Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Mining, and many more.

More information on Business Applications

Verhaert manages the European network

Verhaert also manages the European technology transfer network of ESA Space Solutions. Not such an illogical choice. Historically, Verhaert has a lot of experience in space technology. The company knows the sector and is still active in the network. Of course, the former cooperation between ESA and Verhaert also plays an important role. “For Belgian start-ups and innovators our coordination role is an advantage,” smiles Sam Waes, ”Verhaert Masters in Innovation is a Belgian company, which makes it easier to take the first step. Those with a question, just have to contact me.”

Are you thinking of working with space technology or do you have questions? Contact Sam Waes (By phone at +32 473 78 11 35 or via mail at sam.waes@verhaert.com).

Upcoming ESA Space Solutions Belgium
  • Want to meet with the people of Space Solutions Belgium? There are many occasions in the next coming weeks to meet in person. On the agenda: Advanced Engineering (May 22-23), IoT Convention (June 19) … For the details it’s best to check the online agenda.