The Azores, through business incubators located on the islands of São Miguel, Terceira and Santa Maria, namely in the Science and Technology parks NONAGON, TERINOV and INCUBA +, will integrate the European Space Agency (ESA BIC) incubator network in Portugal . The integration of these Azorean incubators results from a tender launched in April by the Portuguese Space Agency (PT Space) and by the Pedro Nunes Institute (IPN), for new incubators to join this network.
The Regional Secretary for Sea, Science and Technology stated that the presence of the three Azorean incubators in the ESA BIC network “will contribute, decisively, to reinforce the presence of new companies in the space sector in the Region”. “These regional incubators are part of a set of 15 incubators from various parts of the country that will support businesses that are based on space industry technologies and data”, said Gui Menezes.
The competition, aimed at business incubation centers, provided for the addition of spaces for the operation of new companies that, in turn, will benefit from financial support for the development of differentiating projects that will be selected for, for a period maximum of two years, “grow and guarantee their own and permanent sustainability”.
The Regional Secretary said that this new network of incubators represents “a strong contribution” to the Portugal Espaço 2030 strategy, adding that “the Azores are committed to being part of this national strategy for Space”.
Gui Menezes also pointed out that there is a state-of-the-art cluster in the Azores in the Azores, “with specific infrastructures and a direct impact on qualified employment and service provision, many of them on an international scale”.
ESA BIC was created in 2003 by ESA with the aim of encouraging the transformation of embryonic projects into valuable products and services applied to technology transfer.
Since its creation, more than 700 startups have been promoted across Europe.
In the case of Portugal, the management of the national ESA BIC network is coordinated by the Pedro Nunes Institute, which, since the end of 2014, has supported around 30 companies, including Findster or Theia.
The work carried out in Portugal within the scope of ESA BIC has already boosted the creation of more than one hundred jobs, in a total of projects that represent a turnover of around five million euros.