Paris, 05 Apr 2004
To date, ESA Telecom has launched three rounds of the Start-up Projects Initiative to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) enter the satcom sector. Previous results have encouraged ESA Telecom to expand and refine the scheme to build on the initial successes.
The field of satellite communications can be a tough one for smaller and new businesses to enter. The technical and commercial risks, as well as the perceived complexity of the field, can act as strong deterrents to entrepreneurs and potential financiers alike. However, satcom provides many exciting possibilities for new technology, applications and services in such areas as mobile communications, Internet, multimedia, broadcasting and location based communication applications. And it is not only the large enterprises that can exploit these opportunities successfully.
The scheme provides for the award of development contracts up to 300,000 Euro for propositions that include the satcom component as an essential element. Two possible funding levels depending on the commercial maturity of the proposition will be applied:
a) Financial support up to 100% (max 300,000 Euro) for validation of concepts in early stages of development involving innovative technologies with perceived high commercial and/or technical risks
b) Financial support up to 50% (max 150,000 Euro) for integration and demonstration activities based on existing technologies tailored to pre-operational products, systems and applications, with identified market opportunities.
Any small or medium-sized business from a country participating in this initiative is eligible to apply. These countries are Austria, Canada, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Luxemburg, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. This is the final list of countries.
Particular attention will be paid to proposals from companies that have never had a contract with ESA Telecom before.
The aim of the Start-up Initiative is to ensure that at the end of the project, companies are in a position to progress the commercial exploitation of their proposal. In addition to the financial support, ESA will also use its expertise and contacts to bring together complementary ideas and ventures in the satcom field.
The Fourth Round of the ESA Telecom Start-up Projects Initiative started on 30 March 2004. Submissions will be accepted until 7 May 2004. News and updated information on this Start-up Projects Initiative will appear on this website.