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Assisting European SPACE Start-ups in scaling UP

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SpaceUp (Assisting European SPACE Start-ups in scaling UP)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2019-11-30

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 three General Assemblies took place so far, in conjunction with the first Review meetings and the two Space academies in Helsinki and Bremen. The consortium also helds regular telephone conferences with the full consortium every 8 weeks and smaller group calls, whenever necessary.
So far two Space Academies where held sucessuflly. The first one in Helsinki on 3rd and 4th June 2019 as part of the EBAN Annual Congress and the second one in Bremen on 18th and 19th November 2019.

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). Later on in the first half of the Project 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 the Space Academy in Helsinki, the first Internal Evaluation Report was produced. The feedback was mostly positive and helped to improve the concept of the Space Academy. Fraunhofer is currently working on the second report for the Space Academy in Bremen.

WP 6 is mainly activated in the second half of the project but task 6.1 has helped WP 2 in the positioning and led to a selection of prime initiatives (projects, funding and financing programmes and institutions, space-related bodies) which are being contacted.

WP 7 has been very active on the dissemination and communication strategy, producing internal and external document templates, a slide show, a video, a roll-up, postcards, a first newsletter and a flyer to communicate about the project and disseminate information, especially about the first two Space Academies. 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 in Bremen, Space Info Days, the Space Week, to name but a few. Also in November 2019 the whole consortium attended the NSE Exo Forum in Rome to promote the project.
Achievements and Outlook
Due to the late start of the project, all deliverables directly related to the individual Space Academies (SA) have been postponed. The order and due date of the deliverables were adjusted accordingly in an amendment. They mostly concerned the SAs and related deliverables, as the original timing does not work anymore for the WP 3, 4 and 5. Their timing of deliverables is close to the timing of the Space Academies, due shortly before (WP 3 &4), or shortly afterwards (WP 5). The following deliverables were affected: D3.3 D4.3 D5.3 D5.4. For the milestones only number 6 was affected, which repre-sented the implementation of the first three Space Academies.

Because of the late start of the project it was impossible to fit a Space Academy into 2018, and that resulted in a new timing of all Space Academies, starting in month 12 and 18. Originally planned were months 7 (December 2018) , 11 and 15. Unfortunately, the time for preparing the first Space Academy was too short for the originally planned IAC Congress in Bremen in early October 2018.

The main reason for the modification of the timeline was the impossibility to tie the first Academy to an event in 2018. Having a key space/investment event at the same time is deemed of great im-portance to attract investors and ensure cross-fertilization. Therefore, the EBAN Annual Congress 2019 was seen as the best opportunity to test our format with the first Space Academy held in conjunction (June 2019) and the second SA back-to-back with SpaceTechExpo (November 2019 in Bremen).
Flyer first Space Academy
Short Info first Space Academy
Flyer second Space Academy