ESA BIC Incubation Programme

Over the past decades, the state of Bremen has become an important hub in the international aerospace industry. Because in the City of Space, fresh, innovative ideas meet established companies and renowned research institutes.

The ESA BIC Incubation Programme Northern Germany has therefore set its goal to support start-ups in their business development for up to two years. The space incubator is part of the Europe-wide network of 29 centres for start-ups of the space agency ESA.

The ESA BIC Incubation Programme Northern Germany promotes and supports start-ups that develop an innovative technology or service with a clear space connection and want to set up or expand their own company. The space-relatedness can include technologies that are made usable for space from other development or application fields (so-called "spin-in" technologies) or technologies, patents or services from space technology for innovative developments for other application fields ("spin-off" technologies).

These areas of application can be very diverse.

Examples of areas with "spin-in" innovations: Robotic, material sciences, plant engineering, process or measurement technology, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, energy and drive technology of communication technology as well as sustainability-oriented processes.

Examples of "spin-off" application areas: Agriculture (to improve sustainability, use in agriculture or water management as well as protection of diverse ecosystems), aviation, navigation, positioning, logistics, telecommunications, robotics, materials management, energy use and control systems, sensor technology and technologies for medical technology.

You are unsure whether your project fits into the space incubator? Then this document will help you to check whether your idea is space-related. Alternatively, we would be happy to talk to you directly. All advice is, of course, confidential.

ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Northern Germany

The Incubation Centre of the European Space Agency in Northern Germany (ESA BIC Northern Germany) is headquartered jointly with the Bremen aeronautics and space industries association AviaSpace Bremen at the BITZ, the largest innovation and technology centre for high-tech companies and startups in Bremen. The ESA BIC Northern Germany brings new startup opportunities to the region and thus strengthens the aeronautics and space sector in the German federal state of Bremen. AVIASPACE BREMEN e.V. supports the incubatees with its network, public relations work and targeted coaching not only during the incubation period, but also afterwards as alumni. Starthaus is the central point of contact in the Bremen startup ecosystem and supports the startups on all issues relating to business development and financing. The ESA BIC Northern Germany is managed by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), an international networking and branding company for the European space programmes that also manages ESA BIC Bavaria with three locations in southern Germany.

Since 2021, ESA BIC Northern Germany has also been offering its service to space-related startups in Schleswig-Holstein. The Technikzentrum Lübeck with GATEWAY49, AviaSpace Bremen and AZO jointly operate this extension of ESA BIC Northern Germany. There are also plans to extend ESA BIC Northern Germany to the northern German federal states of Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Berlin-Brandenburg.