[SatNews] ESA BIC Bavaria, part of the European Space Agency's Business Incubation Center (BIC) program, is poised to expand its presence in Bavaria's thriving aerospace atmosphere with the opening of another branch office in Ottobrunn near Munich. The Bavarian state government, itself a longstanding ESA BIC partner and supporter, also hailed the program's new partnership with Airbus Defence and Space at the Ludwig Bölkow Campus in Ottobrunn.
"The new ESA BIC Bavaria branch location in Ottobrunn will enable us to drive the creation of new start-ups based on the research endeavors pursued on-campus." explains Ilse Aigner, Bavaria's State Minister of Economics. "Smaller companies in particular have the ability to provide fresh, innovative ideas to Bavaria's aerospace industry. Much of this sector's supplier landscape also focuses on the midmarket, which makes these firms' contributions all the more important."
Airbus Defence and Space, a global player in the aerospace industry, and the ESA BIC program, the leading space entrepreneurship initiative in Europe, expect their combined efforts to achieve another surge in the commercial use of space infrastructures and technologies.
"The aerospace hub of Ottobrunn and its newly constructed Ludwig Bölkow Campus offer an ideal setting for new companies to grow in collaboration with research and development. This new location promises to integrate Ottobrunn into the ESA BIC Bavaria's outstanding partner program" states Thomas Müller, member of the Executive Committee of Airbus Defence and Space and responsible for the Airbus site in Ottobrunn.
"The Ludwig Bölkow Campus is proud to figure amongst ESA's Business Incubation Centers from now on," adds Alexander Mager, Managing Director of the Ludwig Bölkow Campus GmbH.
The ESA BIC program now offers start-up entrepreneurs extensive financial and technical support at 20 locations in eight countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UK.
"ESA's incubation program has already helped to found 300 companies and is now supporting 100 new start-ups every year, making it the fastest-growing initiative of its kind in the space industry," declares ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, "and I am glad that the first one created was here in Bavaria with the strong support of the government and of the DLR".
Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), which manages the ESA BIC Bavaria, has been responsible for 98 of these new foundations and the creation of more than 1,200 new jobs, which, along with its impressive network of partners, gives it a place of prominence among ESA's incubation Centers in Europe. Bavaria's ESA BIC program works closely with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany's two largest research institutions. Further support is provided by the Wirtschaftsförderung Berchtesgadener Land (a local business-promotion association) and Bavaria's two most financially sound savings banks, Sparkasse Nürnberg and Kreissparkasse München-Starnberg-Ebersberg.
Start-ups founded through the ESA BIC program benefit from a broad portfolio of space technologies and IP protection services, as well as from their cooperation with the various partners involved. Europe's space programs in satellite navigation (Galileo), Earth observation (Copernicus), and satellite communications also offer fantastic opportunities to established companies, and especially to those just getting their feet on the ground.
"Airbus Defence and Space is the first industrial aerospace company to join our incubation program," reports Thorsten Rudolph, CEO of AZO. "With its help, we'll now be able to offer our incubatees and new companies an even wider range of support, from financing and R&D all the way to market launch."