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Assisting European SPACE Start-ups in scaling UP

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SpaceUp (Assisting European SPACE Start-ups in scaling UP)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-12-31

The SpaceUp project aims at giving Europe's innovative start-ups in the space sector every opportunity to become world-leading companies. SpaceUp promotes technology transfer, networking, dissemination, matchmaking with business angels, crowd funders, investors, human resource specialists and, CEOs from corporates, culminating in six European SPACE ACADEMIES. Exposure to strategic corporate investors is being increased by engaging actively with relevant high-tech industries via cross-fertilization and cross-clustering.

Before and during the Academies, SpaceUp experts offer advice on how to best profit from the opportunities represented by the EC Public Funds (H2020/SME Instrument, EIB and EIF) the European Space Agency and through crowd funding. Promising tech start-ups - space and non-space-related - are being guided through already existing services offered (esp. ESA-BICs, EEN and NCPs).

SpaceUp builds on activities carried out by ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO) and ESA BICs and fosters the uptake of space data and services by non-space industrial and service players for further commercial applications. SpaceUp thus reinforces the spin-out efforts of ESA in the cross-fertilization through enhancing connection and networking with non-space technology experts, e.g. in maritime, logistics, land-use and security sectors. It also fosters spin-in activities from these sectors into the space sector.

Start-ups are being invited to attend the six SPACE ACADEMIES, taking place across Europe incl. the widening countries and apply for the individual in-depth SpaceUp coaching services. 10 start-ups will each time be selected by the SpaceUp evaluation committee, on the basis of the most advanced and viable cases (business, products and/or services, TRL 6 or above) and mentored immediately. Whereas the large group gets training in a workshop format on six relevant topics, the 10 selected start-ups are offered access to all partners’ services and to customized one-to-one coaching within areas of expertise they need, to reach their next commercial stages. On the second day the 10 will pitch in front of a diverse audience, including investors and sectoral industry representatives. At the end, recommendations on best practice and lessons learnt will be established for start-ups, SMEs and existing BICs and the sustainability of offering future SPACE ACADEMIES will be explored.

Europe’s space sector has been a “closed” agency-driven shop and was lacking public attention due to missing marketing activities for many decades. Accessing the potential for new product and service ideas through training and wider dissemination marketing of space products and their potential for non-space sectors and vice versa, strongly supported through the SpaceUp Common & Support Action project, has not only a great potential for innovation in several sectors but will also increase the success rate of space start-ups. As a result, more space-related innovations will enter the market successfully and provide the basis for a viable future spin-in/spin-out space sector.
The project started with the kick off-meeting in Bremen in June 2018. It was the first contacts among the partners, including the ones participating in the project Astropreneurs, which started in January 2018.

In terms of communication all General Assemblies were conducted in the course of the project. The consortium also held regular telephone conferences with the full consortium every 8 weeks and smaller group calls, whenever necessary.
During the project 5 Space Academies where held successfully, whereby the Space Academy Rome hosted 20 finalists, because it was merged with SA Sevilla.

Further work has been done in parallel in WP 2, including scouting of potential applicants, positioning of the project within the space ecosystem and a cluster analysis for the regions in which the six Academies have been planned, including cross-clustering options (Helsinki/Finland, Bremen/Germany, Rome/Italy, Warsaw or Krakow/Poland, Seville/Spain and Brussels/Belgium). Also the scouting and positioning was updated.

IBS and EBAN – respectively leader of WP 3 and 4 - worked together in setting up a timeline as well as developing pre-selection and evaluation criteria for all Space Academies. The content for all frontal and one-to-one modules, and the concepts for generating individual feasibility studies, was determined by the contributions of the participating partners, and a draft agenda was put together by EBAN. After every Space Academy, Internal Evaluation Reports were produced by Fraunhofer IPK. The feedback was mostly positive and helped to improve the concept of the Space Academy.

WP 6 main task in the second half of the project was the development of sustainability assessment of the action, including the development of a Business Plan to assess the sustainability of the service. Moreover, it supported the scouting activities from WP 2.

WP 7 has been very active on the dissemination and communication strategy, producing internal and external document templates, slide shows, videos, roll-ups, postcards, newsletter and a flyer to communicate about the project and disseminate information. It is also collecting evidence of the communication and dissemination activities of all partners, several of which have been attending important space-related events like the IAC, Space Info Days, the Space Week, to name but a few. Also in 2019 and 2021 the whole consortium attended the NSE Exo Forum in 2019 in person in Rome and in 2021 digital to promote the project.

The principal dissemination elements of SpaceUp are:
1. Promotion and support of the Space Academies (via webtools, social media and videos etc).
2. Regular newsletters to key target stakeholders and other targeted promotion materials such as a roll-up and flyer
3. The Space Academy handbook
The main communication elements are
1. Print material, project videos ( project presentation and project impact) social media accounts (Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube)
2. A visually attractive website (
3. Promotional videos from Space Academies (Helsinki, Bremen, Rome, Paris and Europe)
The project was addeped in two amendments, the first one because of the late start of the project and the second one to adapt to the changed circumstances because of the covid-19 pandemic.

The project went fully digital after 03/2020 and held 3 of their five Spoace Academys digital. This helped to enlarge the participation of start-ups and other actors, but also prevented the regular networking during a physical event. Moreover with the second amendment the project duration was enlaregd and most of the deliverable submission dates were adjusted, because of the delays. In Summary the project reaction very fast and efficient on the changed situation together with the support from the European Comission
Flyer first Space Academy
Short Info first Space Academy
Flyer second Space Academy
SpaceUp Launche
Flyer Paris Space Academy
Flyer Deadline Bremen Space Academy
Flyer Final Event Space Academy
Logo for SpaceUp Participants