The European Space Agency (ESA) has opened a Business Incubation Centre hosting start-ups that work on space technologies at the ESA (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) in Castelldelfels. The coastal town next to Barcelona El Prat Airport.
The aerospace company incubator, will be located in the RDIT building in what is known as the so-called Energy Campus of the UPC, and will occupy 1,000m2. At present, there are four companies installed whose activities include “drones” technology and satellite communication.
The project expects to host some 40 companies from now on until 2018. This will be the tenth “Business Incubation Centre” that the ESA opens in Europe so far. The incubator aims to bring together businesses and technologies, and create jobs in the process.
The incubator, which is being managed by Barcelona Activa, a Barcelona City Council’s organization supporting entrepreneurs and the creation of start-ups in the area, is aimed at new companies with less than five years activity, whose business is centred in using space technology and systems, towards the development of products, services or applications.
Currently, there are four companies in place, supporting around 30 direct and indirect jobs. These are Hemav, IP anywhere, DAPCOM, and Born Positiu. Three more companies have been approved by the selection committee, and will arrive in the next few months.
One project currently being developed by the company Hemav, a technology start-up that specializes in drones, is to bring drones to “the world of agriculture” as the Director General of the area of business development, Alex Gomar, explained. Specifically, to have “drones” flying over the fields in order to provide information to the farmer about “when to harvest crops, their water requirements, and the need for pesticides”. It aims “to reduce costs and increase productivity in the field,” said Gomar.
The company IP anywhere, on the other hand, works to provide Iinternet through servers that operate across the Mediterranean Sea and in the refugee camps of the Sahara desert. Companies operating from the aerospace incubator will have access to the technical and scientific resources, and the ESA has allocated €50,000 for the development of new products.