The Tyndall National Institute (Tyndall) has announced that NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin (UCD), has joined the ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland consortium, which incorporates the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Ireland.

ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland, a consortium which is led by Tyndall at UCC, and funded by ESA and Enterprise Ireland, is focused on supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups with innovative technology in sectors as diverse as agri-tech, data analytics, bee husbandry, architecture and planning, and med-tech, in addition to the space sector.

By joining the consortium NovaUCD will be designated as one of five ESA BIC Ireland locations to support such entrepreneurs and startups.

The other ESA BIC Ireland locations, alongside Tyndall and NovaUCD, are, Athlone Institute of Technology’s Midlands Innovation and Research Centre, Maynooth Works at Maynooth University, and MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and the Blue Economy research and innovation.

Critical project funding and incubation supports

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Damien English TD said: “With the support of my department, Enterprise Ireland, and our continued investment in the European Space Agency, ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland has supported the development of more than 20 new enterprises across the country, all of whom received critical project funding and incubation supports.

“It is important that we continue to back the talent of the people and the organisations in this sector so that they can continue to make an impact in their respective fields of excellence.”

Eligible startups which successfully apply to locate at NovaUCD through ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland will be able to avail of the supports provided through the ESA BIC network along with the support programmes and activities provided by NovaUCD to client companies. Companies also receive €50,000 project funding for development of their enterprise.

Peter Finnegan, ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland manager, stated that, “having an organisation of the calibre of NovaUCD joining the consortium greatly enhances the overall offering available to Irish SMEs. The excellent facilities available on the Belfield campus will appeal to many of our Dublin based applicants. This positive development will help to increase awareness of the supports that companies can access through our various initiatives”.

Exchange of technologies

Tom Flanagan, UCD director of enterprise and commercialisation said: “I am delighted that NovaUCD has been designated as an ESA BIC location. We now look forward to working with our consortium colleagues in Athlone, Cork and Maynooth, to support space-active companies in the exchange of technologies between space and non-space sectors, contributing to the success of the government’s space strategy for enterprise.”

Pictured outside NovaUCD is Tom Flanagan, UCD director of enterprise and commercialisation. Photo: Nick Bradshaw, Fotonic

“At NovaUCD we recently expanded our capacity to house startups by more than 50% and we plan to dedicate a portion of this capacity and our company development programmes to support a cluster of space active and related companies to achieve their global ambitions.”

NovaUCD has already supported a number of space active spin-out and spin-in companies such as; ENBIO, O.C.E. Technology, ProvEye and PlasmaBound, and has a strong track record of helping start-ups to grow and scale internationally.

ESA BIC Ireland is one of 22 ESA BICs located across Europe.

A selection of videos of ESA BIC Ireland supported companies are available to watch via