European Space Agency opens its tenth Business Incubation Centre, located in Greater Barcelona
The European Space Agency (ESA) has opened in Catalonia an incubator for businesses working on space technologies, the first of its kind in Spain. It is located in the campus that the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) has in Castelldelfels, a coastal town next to Barcelona El Prat Airport. The incubator is located in the RDIT building of UPC, in what is known as the Energy Campus, and will take up 1,000m2 of space. There are currently four companies installed in the centre, whose operations are centred on "drones" and satellite communication. The project expects to host some 40 companies from now on until 2018. This is the tenth "Business Incubation Centre" that the ESA has opened in Europe so far.
Barcelona (ACN).- The European Space Agency (ESA) has opened a "Business Incubation Centre for the first time in Spain. It hosts start-ups that work onspace technologies and the ESA chose as location the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) has in Castelldelfels, a coastal town next to Barcelona El Prat Airport. The aerospace company incubator, will be located in the RDIT building in what is known as the so-called Energy Campus of the UPC, and will occupy 1,000m2. At present, there are four companies installed whose activities include "drones" technology and satellite communication. The project expects to host some 40 companies from now on until 2018. This will be the tenth "Business Incubation Centre" that the ESA opens in Europe so far. The incubator aims to bring together businesses and technologies, and create jobs in the process.
The incubator, which is being managed by Barcelona Activa, a Barcelona City Council’s organization supporting entrepreneurs and the creation of start-ups in the area, is aimed at new companies with less than five years activity, whose business is centred in using space technology and systems, towards the development of products, services or applications. Currently, there are four companies in place, supporting around 30 direct and indirect jobs. These are Hemav, IP anywhere, DAPCOM, and Born Positiu. Three more companies have been approved by the selection committee, and will arrive in the next few months.
One project currently being developed by the company Hemav, a technology start-up that specializes in drones, is to bring drones to "the world of agriculture" as the Director General of the area of business development, Alex Gomar, explained. Specifically, to have "drones" flying over the fields in order to provide information to the farmer about "when to harvest crops, their water requirements, and the need for pesticides". It aims "to reduce costs and increase productivity in the field," said Gomar.
The company IP anywhere, on the other hand, works to provide Iinternet through servers that operate across the Mediterranean Sea and in the refugee camps of the Sahara desert. Companies operating from the aerospace incubator will have access to the technical and scientific resources, and the ESA has allocated €50,000 for the development of new products.
The Director of the UPC’s Castelldefels Campus, Elisabet Jordà, stated that the incubator is an initiative that will “bring space technologies close to the production and network of any other sector”. Jordà also explained that after the first years in the incubator, companies will be able to stay at the UPC campus and work from there.