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ESA Business Incubation Centre

ESA BIC (UK) at Leicester

The ESA BIC (European Space Agency – Business Incubation Centre) UK at Leicester is a route for SMEs to develop technologies for the Space Industry. Applicants can be from those in the Space sector or those considering new products and services for the sector.

You’ll receive a programme of technical support from the University of Leicester’s leading-edge Space and Earth Observation scientists and business support from our Entrepreneurs in residence. This guidance will provide assistance over 12 or 24 months to help you get your product or service ready for market.

Your company will be required to rent a desk at the state-of-the-art ESA BIC co-working office at Space Park Leicester.

Summary of support
  • Up to 80 hours of Business coaching during the incubation period from Innovation Advisers and Entrepreneurs in Residence. 50 hours of technical support is available from University Space and Earth Observation scientists
  • 10 hours of Intellectual Property Rights advice
  • Access to state of the are co-working space at Space Park Leicester
  • 3 Incentive grant payments: factored into the tailored incubation package will be three payments totalling Euros 60,000 (£51,720 fixed exchange rate) to the company over the period of the incubation. This does not have to be paid back but must be spent on eligible costs.

The ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) at Space Park Leicester offers a unique opportunity for start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to leverage space technology. By joining this prestigious program, businesses gain access to world-class facilities, expert business and IP  support, and financial support to turn your innovative ideas into commercial reality.

Start my ESA BIC Journey
Key opportunities

Access to Cutting-Edge Facilities: Utilise Space Park Leicester’s state-of-the-art laboratories, workshops, and co-working spaces designed for space-related research and development

Financial Support: Receive funding to kickstart your business journey, with grants available to help cover product development and patenting costs

Expert Mentorship: Collaborate with industry leaders and academic experts in space technology. Benefit from personalized mentorship and networking opportunities

Market Access: Leverage the ESA BIC network to connect with potential customers, partners, and investors in the space industry.

Collaborative Environment: Work alongside other space-focused entrepreneurs and researchers, fostering a community of innovation and expertise.

Specialised Training: Participate in workshops and training programs tailored to the needs of space-related businesses.

Who should apply?

Ideal candidates are start-ups and entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that utilise space technology or data. Whether you’re developing satellite communication tools, earth observation technologies, or leveraging space assets for terrestrial applications, ESA BIC at SPL provides the perfect platform to launch your venture.

Application process

Submit a business proposal outlining your idea and how it connects to space technology.

Attend an interview to discuss your proposal in detail.

Once accepted, begin your incubation journey with full access to Space Park Leicester’s resources and the ESA BIC network.

Find out more and join the space revolution!

At ESA BIC Leicester, we’re not just incubating businesses; we’re fostering the next generation of space technology leaders. Apply today and turn your space-related idea into a thriving business!

Entry to ESA BIC UK at Leicester is through a competitive tender process. If you meet eligibility criteria, the application process is open 3 times per calendar year at the following set deadlines:

  • September 2024
  • March 2025

Support is available in some circumstances to develop the application (production of a Business Plan, Incubation Proposal and other supporting documents).

Contact us to find out more.