Instituto Pedro Nunes
IPN     IPN Incubadora



Did you know that software used to process images taken by space satellites is now helping doctors to establish a simple method for studying Alzheimer's disease? And that the Portuguese company Active Aerogels has developed an innovative airgel spacecraft insulation that can now be effectively applied in the thermal insulation of pipelines (Aeroflex). Or that CRITICAL Software also successfully completed a space technology transfer technique for the automotive sector (csXception4Aut) which aims to increase the reliability, accessibility and security of future cars. The European Space Agency (ESA) seeks entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for using space technologies or developing applications to create new products and services in a non-space environment. ESA?s Business Incubation Centres work to inspire entrepreneurs to turn space-connected business ideas into commercial companies and provide technical expertise and business development support.


Since 2014, IPN has hosted an ESA Business Incubation Centre, ESA BIC Portugal. In this structure, one of the ten ESA incubators across Europe, we support startups that use space technology for industrial and commercial uses in non-space markets such as health, energy, transport, security and urban life, among others. ESA BIC Portugal was launched in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Foundation for Science and Technology and is led by Instituto Pedro Nunes in collaboration with the Science and Technology Park, the University of Porto and the DNA Cascais agency. The projects are supported with 50,000 euros to build prototypes, acquire intellectual property, and provide business and technical support. They also have access to a wide network of potential customers, partners and investors. Evaluation procedures for selecting the projects are led by the European Space Agency with the support of the Portuguese partners.
Applications are open permanently and evaluated 3 times a year.
In 2015, the submission deadlines and evaluation calendar are as follows:

  • Applications received by February 2, 2015 - Evaluation Jury Meeting: February-March

  • Applications received by May 18, 2015 - Evaluation Jury Meeting: May-June

  • Applications received by September 7, 2015 - Evaluation Jury Meeting: September-October

Successful applicants may be admitted to one of the premises in Portugal: Coimbra (Instituto Pedro Nunes Incubator), Porto (UPTEC) or Cascais (DNA Cascais). To benefit from this, entrepreneurs must apply to the Permanent Open Call ( See more in

Project Reference



Agência Espacial Europeia (ESA) e FEDER
Agência Espacial Europeia (ESA) e FEDER

Total Cost


IPN Cost


EU financial support

FEDER - 170.000,00?




Instituto Pedro Nunes, Science and Technology Park, University of Porto and DNA Cascais



incubation, startups, technology transfer, space technology, non-space markets, telecommunications, ARTES, ESA