Utilising space technology can offer ambitious entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage within their sector. The ESA Business Incubation Centre United Kingdom (ESA BIC UK) provides the support and funding that start-up companies need to turn their ideas into profitable products and services using space technology, or to develop technologies for use in space.

STFC manages the ESA BIC UK across its sites on behalf of ESA, offering successful applicants fully equipped office space, as well as access to all the benefits of being part of our flourishing and unique network of science and innovation campuses. Businesses work alongside, and in collaboration with, other businesses, STFC scientists and engineers, accessing a whole wealth of expertise.

Other Benefits Include

  • A cash incentive for design, prototyping, IP protection and market studies of over £50,000

  • Access to STFC’s test facilities, laboratories/workshops and technical expertise, including up to 40 hours of expert support and 40 hours per year of access to lab facilities

  • Hands-on business development support/advice

  • Access to a range of funding, investment, networking and collaboration opportunities.

Our Locations

Each ESA BIC UK location is firmly associated with world leading specialisms that companies joining the programme can benefit from.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) manages the ESA BIC UK across its sites on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA). The brand-new Space Park Leicester (managed by the University of Leicester) recently partnered with STFC, adding a fourth location alongside the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, Sci-Tech Daresbury in the North West and the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh.

Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

The Higgs Centre for Innovation brings together world-class research in astronomy (located alongside STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre), particle physics and the instrumentation expertise that underpins it, with business incubation facilities and laboratories suitable for commercial use.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council and the University of Edinburgh have long and proven histories of not only developing revolutionary science and technology but also commercialising it and creating viable businesses. This extensive knowledge and expertise is available to ambitious businesses in Scotland at the prestigious Royal Observatory Edinburgh.

Find out more:  https://www.higgscentre.org/

Sci-Tech Daresbury

Sci-Tech Daresbury

Sci-Tech Daresbury is a National Science and Innovation Campus established in 2006 ideally located in the Liverpool City Region between Runcorn, Warrington, Manchester and Liverpool. London is only two hours away.

Sci-Tech Daresbury is internationally recognised through the reputation of the STFC Daresbury Laboratory and Hartree Centre in leading-edge research and development, and the successful establishment of its open innovation model.

The laboratory is renowned for its world leading scientific research in fields such as accelerator science, bio-medicine, physics, chemistry, materials, engineering and computational science.

Find out more: https://www.sci-techdaresbury.com/

Space Park Leicester

Space Park Leicester

Building upon the heritage and space-science excellence of the University of Leicester, Space Park is a collaborative community of industry, academics and students working together to drive growth in space and space-enabled sectors.

They undertake world-leading research, impactful innovation and offer a wide-range of skills and educational development opportunities.

Find out more: https://www.space-park.co.uk

Harwell Campus

Harwell Campus

Originally founded in 1946 to tackle the energy crisis and advance nuclear technology, today, Harwell Campus are home to a federation of leading science and technology organisations and facilities.

The campus is a unique collaboration between government, academia and industry working to accelerate progress on the key issues of our time. The community includes publicly funded scientific infrastructure like the National Quantum Computing Centre and the Central Laser Facility, anchor organisations like the European Space Agency and the Natural History Museum, innovative private sector organisations like Oxford Nanopore and Astroscale alongside teams from 30 UK universities.

Find out more: https://www.harwellcampus.com

Who can apply?

  • UK Registered companies, including at least one company members located in the UK.

  • New or existing companies less than 5 years old.

  • Demonstrable space connection

  • Viable business plan

Does your business have a space connection?