Great opportunities for entrepreneurs at ILA

May 11, 2004

Paris, 10 May 2004

At this year's ILA in Berlin several events are of interest to entrepreneurs and start-up companies. The Galileo Masters competition, the NAVOBS project and ESINET target small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs to develop new technology and spin-offs from European space programmes.

"Many of the best industry innovations are developed into new products by small entrepreneurial companies," says Pierre Brisson, Head of ESA's Technology Transfer Programme and one of the initiators of the European Space Incubator Network (ESINET). "This is the reason why we have started a number of specific initiatives supporting entrepreneurs and small companies with new ideas."

The Galileo Masters competition

The objective of the Galileo Masters competition is to find the best business ideas for Galileo applications to improve existing products and services, as well as to generate new application areas. The competition is open to individuals, very small companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and scientific institutions, from EC countries, and ideas must be submitted online at before 31 July 2004.

The competition has been organised by the German incubator Anwendungszentrum GmbH in Oberpfaffenhofen, member of ESINET, in collaboration with Messe München GmbH.

All submitted ideas will be evaluated by their respective European region and each region selects its five finalists. From the regional finalists, the first 'Galileo Master' will be nominated in October 2004. Altogether, the prizes exceed more than 50,000 Euro, and all finalists will receive prizes. The winning first 'Galileo Master' gets the chance to realize his or her business idea within an incubator, with all the required expertise and infrastructure.

NAVOBS Project

The NAVOBS project aims to improve the participation of SME in research and technology development (RTD) activities related to the development of innovative services based on space infrastructures.

The NAVOBS programme is an initiative of ESINET. It focuses on supporting SME participation to RTD activities related to Galileo, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and space-based telecommunication services, priority research areas of the European Commission's sixth framework programme.

The European Commission has allocated 20 million € to NAVOBS, and the next call for proposals from SMEs will take place in the coming months.


Launched 17 July 2002 by ESA and the European Commission (EC) the European Space Incubator Network (ESINET) is Europe's first network of space incubation centres and includes 30 partners from Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Ukraine; each of them deeply involved in space incubation activities.

ESINET provides a platform for the transfer of know-how and technology between the different members. Start-up and spin-off companies being nursed under the member incubators benefit from the international potential of the network. The combination of expertise and products open up new potential business areas and speed up the incubation process.

At ILA, ESINET and the German Space Agency (DLR) together with two of its German incubators will present the opportunities for entrepreneurs offered as well as projects currently under incubation.

ILA schedule of activities

Specific events of interest to industry are:

Tuesday 16:30 – 17:30

ESINET - Entrepreneurship as a means for spinning out non-space businesses from space industry


- Bruno Naulais, ESA / European Space Incubator and ESINET
- Hardy R Schmitz, WISTA-Management GmbH
- Michael Scheiding, Astro- and Feinwerktechnik Adlershof GmbH
- Michael Born, GEVA (Gesellschaft für Entwicklung und Versuch Adlershof GmbH)
- Thorsten Rudolph, Anwendungszentrum GmbH
- Christian Stammel, Anwendungszentrum GmbH / Geo-View AG
- Werner Dupont, MST

Thursday 17:00 – 18:00

Galileo Masters Competition and NAVOBS: Bringing Galileo and other space systems to the market


- Bruno Naulais, ESA / European Space Incubator and ESINET
- Thorsten Rudolph, Anwendungszentrum GmbH, and Christian Stammel, Anwendungszentrum GmbH / Geo-View AG, for the Galileo Masters Competition
- Florence Ghiron, Wallonia Space Logistics, and Werner Dupont, MST, for the NAVOBS project

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