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Luxembourg launches world’s first space resources start-up support programme

Published Thursday October 28 2021

Supporting start-ups is one of the four pillars of the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC), the unique Luxembourg-based innovation center fully focused on space resources utilization. On 26 October 2021, ESRIC Director Mathias Link announced the launch of the first program worldwide dedicated to commercial initiatives in the field of space resources use.

“The ESRIC Start-up Support Program (SPP) will play a key role in accelerating the next generation of space resources related business ideas of the most promising entrepreneurial teams,” said Dr Link. “It will be developed in close interaction with the other pillars of ESRIC, in particular its research activities all along the value chain of space resources utilization.”

Early-stage support

SPP will support the specific needs of early-stage ventures and startups and help them prove their technological value proposals and develop near-term sustainable business models targeting terrestrial and space applications and space resources utilization. The program, which will be managed by ESRIC and Luxembourg technology incubator Technoport , will also contribute to the consolidation of an ecosystem of technical and business players and to the establishment of effective collaboration models with early-stage start-ups.

“Space resources will drive the future of space exploration,” explains Marc Serres, CEO of the Luxembourg Space Agency. “Today, technological breakthrough is needed to enable the use of space resources, and the SSP is an exceptional platform for entrepreneurs who have commercial ideas to develop in that field.”

3 phases, 2 calls for applications per year

SPP will be organized in three phases:

  • A pre-incubation phase of 3 months, which will allow 5 selected start-ups to validate technical concepts and align them with market opportunities. They will benefit from in-kind support for technical and business matters, provided by ESRIC and its partners
  • A 2-year incubation phase available for the best venture. The selected start-up will be able to confirm its technical value proposition and further develop its business model
  • A third residency phase of maximum 36 months will be possible for the start-up. It will focus on technical developments and the further growth of the sales/customer pool

Two calls for applications for the first phase of the program will be launched each year. A geograhical presence in Luxembourg will be mandatory for start-ups to be eligible for the incubation phase.

ESRIC is powered by the Luxembourg Space Agency and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), with the European Space Agency as a strategic partner.

Photo: © SIP / Emmanuel Claude

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