The European Commission has recently returned its feedback to the SpaceUp consortium regarding the last two years of the project. This report aims to give an overall assessment of the project’s success as well as constructive criticism on how to improve its outputs. In the case of SpaceUp, the report is incredibly positive.
One area of strength highlighted is the way in which the project adapted to the impact of COVID-19. Originally five in-person Space Academies were planned but the pandemic soon put a stop to this, with one fully virtual and another a hybrid event. Despite this, huge efforts were made to ensure the Academies would be of huge use to attendees, something the Commission noticed. These Academies were in fact viewed as bigger successes than previous ones, with the way in which lessons were learnt from one event to the next receiving praise.
Also highlighted was the role of the project in contributing towards European policy objectives and strategies. The Space Programme of the European Union, adopted in 2021, aims to encourage a dynamic, innovative and resilient European space ecosystem, and SpaceUp’s role in supporting this was noted in the report. The support in scaling up startups and encouraging technology transfer was underlined, as was the way the project “more generally contributes to the European economic growth”.
Although it is not easy to quantify the impact of the project, the Commission observed its success in encouraging investment in startups. A considerable number of interviewed investors shared that they were interested in partnering with or investing in SpaceUp selected startups, which was viewed as “a remarkable impact”. Unfortunately, not all Space Academies attendees gave feedback so there is no way to be sure exactly how many accessed funding opportunities, but the Commission is delighted with the impact all the same.
The impact of the project will continute into the future thanks to the opportunities for growth and collaboration that came out of the Space Academies, as well as the knowledge gained from them. Ultimately, the Commission says that “the project can be considered as fully successful”. The project consortium are delighted with the feedback and look forward to continuing to support the European space ecosystem into the future.
The EU announced in late January that they will be launching Cassini, a brand new scheme that will provide funding to innovative startups in the space sector. The project is named after Giovanni Domenico Cassini, an Italian-French astronomer who made numerous discoveries about the planet Saturn.
Officials from the European Commission, European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund committed to providing at least €1 billion euros of the course of five years. They hope that this funding will stop space companies in the early stages of their development from turning to other funding sources such as the US.
Thiery Breton of the European Commission made this clear at the funding announcement. “Many of our startups cannot get the equity investment they need in Europe. They have no choice but to turn to non-E.U. investors. Of course, this is a loss of opportunity and also a major risk for Europe.”
“Europe is full of ideas, it’s full of energy, but they need the means to transform these ideas into projects, into program and into activities”, Josef Aschbacher, the European Space Agency’s director general added. It is hoped that Cassini will allow Europe’s potential to be reached in the space sector.
Although the launch provided few details of how this programme will be run or how the funds will be spent, business leaders welcomed the announcement. “In five years, the number of possibilities that have been developed and implemented by institutions is just incredible,” said Nicolas Capet, chief executive of Anywaves. Cassini, it seems, will provide even more.
For more details about the programme click here.
After each Space Academy, the SpaceUp team conducted a brief survey with all attendees to find out how the event had helped their startup. We’re delighted to say that we have received all the results, and are very pleased with the feedback.
A massive 98% of startups found the services we provided to be useful, with advice and opportunities regarding funding being the most valued. Business model analysis and network opportunities with investors were also highly valued, and led to an average of 11 industry contacts per startup.
Space Academy Paris attendee Mirko Ross, representing Asvin, was one of those pleased with his experience, saying, “the seminars & talks by various industry experts were engaging for us and we were able to expand our network for potential project partners and collaborators. We were also delighted to receive feedback on our business development and products.”
We’re also very pleased to see the progress made by our selected startups since their Space Academy, with an incredible 73% of startups having employed more members of staff since they used our services. The average company has grown by three employees, which is simply excellent.
One company which has made fantastic progress since it attended Space Academy Europe is Prometheus Space Technologies, recent winners of the NSE Expoforum Pitch Competition 2021. By winning the best scaleup award, Prometheus were given the chance to pitch in front of experts, innovators and investors.
Its CEO Eleftherios Plafountzis thanked SpaceUp for the support we have provided, saying, “the SpaceUp program was the greatest organization that believed and trusted our team's efforts and provided us with astonishing assistance. We are enormously thankful and proud that we were part of the SpaceUp community!”
We’re delighted to have been able to have helped so many startups grow over the lifetime of our project, and we can’t wait to see their future successes. For more information on our startups and to track their progress, visit the brochure section of our website.
Space Academy Europe, our fifth Space Academy, took place on the 16-18th June 2021 organised by EBAN – European Business Angel Network. The Space Academy was fully embedded into the EBAN 2021 Annual Congress, and entrepreneurs had the opportunity to attend sessions on topics of investment as well as the SpaceUp workshops. The EBAN Annual Congress is one of Europe’s largest international private investment and entrepreneurship events, bringing together early stage investors; business angels; VCs; entrepreneurs; accelerators; corporates and startups.
As a result of travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Space Academy and the EBAN Annual Congress were delivered through a virtual platform, which allowed companies from anywhere in the world to participate and connect with others. 172 entrepreneurs joined the Space Academy and its workshops. Before the Space Academy, 10 selected startups each received four personalised studies on their companies from experts on business model design, intellectual property rights, and access to finance and human resources. During the event, as well as attending open workshops each startup participated in 6 intensive one-to-one consultation meetings with SpaceUp experts to review the report findings and ask questions on the following topics: business development, IPR, access to finance, HR, working with business angels and finance for innovation. Meanwhile, other participants were in workshops discussing key topics related to business, technology, investment and the European space sector.
SpaceUp held a panel session at EBAN Annual Congress on “Space as an Enabler”, introducing the opportunities offered by space technologies as enabler of innovative and disruptive solutions. It was moderated by Uli Fricke, CEO of FunderNation, and Candace Johnson, President Emeritus of EBAN. The speakers included Dr. Lorenzo Scatena, Secretary General of Fondazione E. Amaldi, Guido Baraglia, Principal Business Development Manager - Satellite Solutions at Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Ebru Kanat, Divisional Business Transformation at Bosch.
The final SpaceUp event will take place in the beginning of October 2021 and it is planned to be an in-person event.
OroraTech provides global wildfire detection and monitoring services. Its platform uses satellite imagery and wildfire detection algorithms to maximise its accuracy. It is already used by government agencies, insurance companies, and commercial forestry operators around the globe, helping to mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of forest fires.
The latest €5.8 million Series A funding round is led by Findus Venture and Ananda Impact Ventures, with contributions from APEX Ventures, BayernKapital, and Business Angels including Clemens Kaiser, SpaceTec Capital and Ingo Baumann.
The funding will be used for the launch of OroraTech's own satellites into orbit and further development of their platform.
Congratulations to the OroraTech team for this impressive achievement!
We are pleased to share the results of the selection of ten European startups working in the space industry for Space Academy Europe. The SpaceUp Evaluation Committee has carefully analysed the business models of all applicants and they have selected companies to receive customised studies and one-to-one coaching sessions with industry experts, as well as pitching at the EBAN annual congress.
The companies are:
Ecoten (Urban Comfort)
Hercules (Prometheus Technologies)
Hybrid Lidar Systems
Thank you to all who have applied and we look forward to seeing you at the open workshops. Registrations will open soon.
On 18th April 2021, the application period closed for the upcoming Space Academy Europe to take place 16th-18th June 2021.
The 43 applications will be evaluated by the SpaceUp Evaluation Committee, which will select the ten best companies in terms of company status, stage of product/service offered, scalability, technical expertise and market strategy. These 10 highest scoring companies will be those selected to receive:
Space Academy Paris, our fourth Space Academy, took place on the 8th March 2021 organised by IASP – the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation.
Due to continued travel restrictions for the Cornavirus pandemic, the Space Academy sessions were conducted through a virtual platform, which allowed companies from across the globe to take part and network with others. 337 participants (including startups, experts, and investors) from 47 countries joined the Space Academy, with 222 B2B meetings set up. Before the Space Academy, 10 selected startups each received four personalised studies on their companies from experts on business model design, intellectual property rights, and access to finance and human resources. During the event, as well as attending sessions each startup participated in 6 intensive one-to-one consultation meetings with SpaceUp experts to review the report findings and ask questions on the following topics: business development, IPR, access to finance, HR, working with business angels and finance for innovation. Meanwhile, other participants were in workshops discussing key topics related to business, technology and the European space sector.
Space Academy Paris was held back-to-back with the Paris Space Week on 9th-10th March, which is an online conference bringing together actors working in the space industry, such as space agencies, organisations, startups and investors, attracting 660 visitors.
As SpaceUp, we held a panel session at Paris Space Week discussing “From Space to Earth: Investing in Downstream Applications”, which was attended by more than 100 people. Four panellists discussed the potential of space technologies, the funding landscape and what trends they see emerging in the market. The panellists were Jeff Crusey from Seraphim Capital, Christian Ziach from High-Tech Gruenderfonds, Reima Linnanvirta from Finnish Business Angels Network and Lorenzo Scatena from Fondazione E. Amaldi, and Alicia Shelley from IASP as moderator. Three winners of the SpaceUp pitch competition, ConstellR, Klepsydra Technologies and PowerUp Technologies, presented their pitches and answered questions from investors during the panel session.
The next Space Academy Europe will take place on 16th – 18th June. The call for applications for start-ups and entrepreneurs is currently open until the 11th of April. https://apply.space-academy.eu/calls/space-academy-europe/
Neutron Star Systems (NSS) has signed its first contract with the European Space Agency to deliver superconducting components for spacecraft. Under the agreement, the company will deliver a High-Temperature Superconductor Harness which will support the operation of advanced instrumentation for astrophysics missions. The project will be delivered in partnership with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in Germany, and the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in Grenoble, France.
Implementing superconductors into the cabling systems reduces the need for cooling of spacecraft, improving the efficiency of their systems. The 18-month project, under a programme of and funded by the European Space Agency, was kicked-off on the 1st February and is scheduled to run until mid-August 2022.
Competitors from abroad, such as New Zealand, Russia and China have all recognised the potential of superconductors in space applications, and have begun efforts to apply the technology to their space sectors.
Congratulations to the team of Neutron Star Systems for this remarkable achievement!
We are delighted to announce that the Evaluation Committee have evaluated the applications received and they have chosen the 10 companies to join the 4th Space Academy and who will be provided with one on one talks and personalised advice from our experts. They will receive customised services before, during and after the event, as well as pitching in front of investors.
The successful applicants are as follows:
ConsellR – HiVE
Geckos United – Fieldy
Navato Aerospace GbR
PowerUP Energy Technologies
Thank you to everyone that applied and we look forward to seeing you virtually.
On top of that, all entrepreneurs are invited to join the workshops on 8th March (FREE!). For more details and to register: https://spaceap.vimeet.events/en/.