Tallinn to continue to support startups in space field

  • 2021-04-22
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Tallinn will continue to support the incubation of starting space companies in the Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, contributing to the European Space Agency (ESA) business incubator for 2022-2025; over the four years, the city will contribute 200,000 euros.

The Tallinn city government decided to support two companies being developed in the space agency's business incubator every year, spokespeople for the city government said.

Tallinn Deputy Mayor Aivar Riisalu said that space systems and ground-based applications of space technologies play an important role in our daily lives. "Major space-related applications include satellite communications, terrestrial remote sensing, satellite television, weather forecasting, even intelligent security and transport systems, and location-based services," Riisalu said in a press release.

"These are used by public authorities, local governments, companies and more and more ordinary people in their daily lives," he added.

The ESA incubator, which has been operating since 2017, is aimed at companies engaged in space technology applications used on the ground, the incubation service is provided by Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol. The incubation period of one company lasts up to two years.

All in all, the project aims to host eight space technology or space data startups in the ESA Estonian business incubator in Tallinn over the next four years. In addition to the City of Tallinn and Tehnopol, the project consortium also includes Tallinn University of Technology, the City of Tartu, Tartu Science Park, the University of Tartu, Tartu Observatory and Kredex as a startup loan provider.

According to the city, the ESA Estonian business incubator has already created 43 jobs in Tallinn and paid more than 494,000 euros in labor taxes to the state during its three years of operation. As additional financing, the startups of the Tallinn business incubator have attracted 3.1 million euros of investments and their cumulative sales revenue exceeded two million euros at the end of last year.

Ten space technology startups in Tallinn and nine in Tartu have joined the program. Among others, the Tallinn business incubator has provided momentum to Hepta Airborne OU, which automates the monitoring of power lines with the aid of satellites, drones, helicopters and the analysis of big data, which in February this year raised an additional two million euros to expand into foreign markets. The company currently operates in Estonia, Germany, Portugal, Finland and Ukraine.

Also a graduate of the program is Golbriak Space OU, whose developed optical satellite telecommunication technology reached space on board the rocket Vega launched from French Guiana last September. Zubax Robotics OU, which has developed electric motor controllers to improve the energy efficiency of the space industry, also participated in the incubator.