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The first Finnish startup selected to join the European Space Agency incubator

Operating within Aalto University, the business incubator is pivotal to Finland's national target to double its space industry turnover.
Aalto-1, launched into space in the midsummer 2017, is one of the satellites built by Aalto students. Photo: Aalto University

Business Incubation Centre of the European Space Agency (ESA BIC Finland) selects up to 10 most innovative Finnish space startups into its program annually. The first selected company is Collective Crunch which collects satellite data, especially for climate and location, and refines it to Artificial Intelligence services for industries. Collective Crunch operates in the fields of smart forestry and energy and  has already won several technology awards.

‘I’m very excited about the cooperation with the European Space Agency, especially around our forest industry product where were are building a service for sawmills and organisations that are buying forests. With ESA’s data we can really take a leap towards scaling the product globally. Also getting ESA’s experts into our project will deepen our knowledge of space data and how to utilise it in global markets”, says Chief Product Officer Jarkko Lipponen, one of the founders of Collective Crunch.

Permanent open call for startups

ESA’s Business Incubation Centre has a permanent open call for applications with two selection rounds per year. The selection panel includes members from ESA as well as its partners Aalto University, Business Finland, Turku Science park and Geowise Ltd.

‘The space industry is experiencing a big boost globally. New ideas for the industry, the so-called New Space technologies such as nanosatellites are particularly interesting to us. Some examples of these are Aalto University’s nanosatellite programmes and the startups born out of these like Iceye, that just entered into a partnership with ESA', says Kimmo Isbjörnssund, head of ESA Business Incubation Centre Finland. 

'We also welcome ideas from startups that use existing space technologies and services such as weather and location data in their business models. In many ways, the numerous companies already using GPS positioning data can be considered space companies. That’s why the range of ideas and startups applying to us is very wide.'

A key contributor to Finland's New Space Economy programme

The New Space Economy programme launched by Business Finland is aiming at doubling the turnover of Finland’s space industry, and ESA’s incubator is in a key role in reaching the target.

‘The time is right for Finland’s space sector to take a stellar leap. We are traditionally strong in radio technology, components, instruments and software, and today also in building nanosatellites and using satellite data for commercial purposes’, says director for space matters in Business Finland, Kimmo Kanto. ‘Business Finland searches the most potential companies, funds them, helps them to New Space markets and large ESA and Horizon projects and attracts investments and builds global ecosystems. We’re here to help Finland double its New Space Economy.’

Started in late 2017, ESA BIC Finland is part of a growing European network of space incubation centres that aim at growing the competitiveness of the European space industry by supporting selected startups financially and technically. Over 500 startups have already graduated from the programme.

 

For more information:

Kimmo Isbjörnssund
ESA BIC Finland Manager, Entrepreneurship Advisor
+358 50 4436 855
[email protected]
www.esabic.fi
www.esa.int

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