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POlish Support to Innovation and Technology IncubatiON

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - POSITION (POlish Support to Innovation and Technology IncubatiON)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

This summary describes the achievements of the POlish Support to Innovation and Technology IncubatiON (POSITION) project. This project lasted between 1st of January 2015 and 31st of December 2016.
POSITION focused on the support of the development of Polish GNSS applications. The project attempted to follow the predicted trend of GNSS sector development in Europe, especially in the field of commercial applications. It is important from the Polish perspective, where so far very little GNSS applications have been created, but at the same time this country is considered to be the largest unexplored European hi-tech market. Project POSITION aimed at changing this situation. The EU contribution to POSITION was 312 k EUR. In total the "turnover" from subsequent accepted actions, grants and investments is estimated to be 4.3 M EUR.

The achievements of the project POSITION are the following:
- A new framework,
- Over 1 M EUR of investments in supported startups and SMEs,
- One of participating teams has secured a significant ca. 2 M EUR R&D grant for further development,
- One of the first “Demo Day” for space sector in Europe,
- Over 10 teams that have been supported extensively by POSITION team, six of them selected to present at the “Demo Day”,
- A new, possibly the first European downstream space sector accelerator “Space3ac”, which for the first time was organised in summer 2016,
- 1.3 M EUR received from the Polish Agency of Enterprise Development (PARP) for second edition of Space3ac (topic: “Space3ac: Satellite techniques for intermodal transportation”),
- Support to the new academic course related to space technologies and their use,
- Relations established with the governmental stakeholders (e.g. PARP or Agency of Industry Development, ARP), despite change of government,
- Greater degree of interaction with the GNSS community.

POSITION is a “Coordination and Support Action” - type project, which is to be realised by two partners: the Polish investment fund Black Pearls Investments (part of Black Pearls VC) and SpaceTec Partners, a strategy, management and communications consultancy group within the European space sector Their joint goal was to support at least ten promising projects utilising GNSS and prepare them for market entry. The project on its own has focused only on Poland due to the fact that this is the largest country from all newer EU members. Any subsequent projects will be done in international conditions.
During the second year most of the work focused on direct support to selected POSITION teams. This support was realised by:
- Three workshops: two separate, organised by the POSITION team and one as a part of a major ICT conference (to which GSA participated)
- One high-level meeting at a Polish Agency of Industrial Development (ARP), who since early 2016 realises a new development direction, involving SME and use of satellite data
- A special "Demo Day", during which selected teams (six startups) presented their results in front of investors and stakeholders. This was probably the first such "Demo Day" for space sector in Central Europe
- Individual meetings and teleconferences with selected teams.

In total, 11 startups with their GNSS products or services were relatively close to participate in the "Demo Day". Six of them were selected to present their business concepts and offer to investors. One team was not able to participate due to an important conference at the same time and one team has disbanded due to internal conflicts shortly before the Demo Day. The other teams have received substantial support and as of early 2017, are working on a new versions of their business plans.
During the second part of the POSITION project two major activities were initiated in parallel to the POSITION project. These initiatives were based on POSITION's experience and were a step towards a "lasting effect" of POSITION.

In late 2015, after discussions with over 150 entities which could benefit from POSITION project, it became obvious that some projects could benefit from a dedicated intensive acceleration course. From some analyses a concept of “Space3ac” acceleration course was conceived and the city of Gdansk decided to support it in December 2015.

The first (and so far only) Space3ac course was held in the summer of 2016. Eight teams from various space downstream sectors (mostly GNSS and EO) were accepted - of them six have finished the course. These six teams have presented their results at the “Demo Day” - the same, where teams from POSITION have presented their projects. The “winner” of Space3ac (i.e. the most sound business concept + professionalism of the team) was selected to be “Farm Scanner” - an EO application for agriculture, organised by 100% female team. As of late 2016, three teams from Space3ac (including Farm Scanner) have been negotiating investments with various groups. (Note: financing for Space3ac was organised separately, there was no relation with POSITION, but realising both projects at the same time allowed to minimise the cost of events).

In June 2016 the Polish Agency of Enterprise Development (PARP) announced a call for a “ScaleUp” project. The objective of this call was to link new technological companies (<5 years on the market) with the big Polish industry in order to solve their challenges. PARP expected to finance up to 10 teams, each of which would organise a work with big industry and small companies. The team around Black Pearls and other partners from northern Poland decided to submit a proposal named “Space3ac: Satellite techniques for intermodal transportation”. The proposal described preliminary results from POSITION and from Space3ac. Our idea focused on use of GNSS, but also EO and other technologies, which utilise satellites. However, since transportation is dependent on localisation, a “priority” was given to GNSS.

In November 2016 PARP published a list of accepted teams and our proposal achieved second highest number of points. Moreover, it was the only proposal which focused on use of satellite data and the integration of that data into an important part of economy.

The project will begin in March 2017 and will last for 15 months. The goal is to link 20 small companies with big industry. Our partners are: Gdansk and Gdynia ports, logistics companies, transportation/delivery services and marine R&D entities. The total budget for this project is 6 M PLN, which is ca. 1.3 M EUR. This Space3ac course under ScaleUp can be considered as a continuation of POSITION.
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