From Space to Earth: How space technology improves our lives

Cyril Kubr · 5 min · 29.10.2016

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Space is an incredibly hard environment to work in: weightless, airless and with daunting temperature extremes. The demand for systems that operate reliably for years on end, with no chance of repair, presents a perpetual challenge to scientists and engineers. The resulting technologies are in a class of their own, offering valuable attributes to terrestrial industries as well. European Space Agency Business Incubation Centres (ESA BIC) want to bring space technologies down to Earth.


Existing space infrastructure, including Earth observation satellites, telecommunication and navigation systems, possibly integrated with non-space technologies, offer additional opportunities. They can be exploited to develop new applications and services for a wide range of users, from tracking vehicles and containers, to supporting agriculture and forestry, to improving safety and outdoor experience.


So, that doesn’t mean rocket science, but applies to multiple application fields such as navigation and positioning, communications techniques, Earth observation, materials, processes, signals or robotics. So let’s see how much space is hidden in your innovative business idea.


16 ESA BICs across Europe support selected entrepreneurs with comprehensive commercial and technical assistance to help them start-up businesses that apply space technology to non-space industrial, scientific and commercial fields. ESA BICs help to create viable businesses and new jobs by providing support to more than 130 companies every year in Europe, and more than 400 start-ups companies have received support to date.


Now, Switzerland will finally have its own ESA BIC. ESA BIC Switzerland will officially open in November 2016 and is a nationwide initiative. It is managed by ETH Zurich, in strong collaboration with Impact Hub (Berne, Geneva & Lausanne) AP Swiss and IFJ/Venture Kick.


ESA BIC Switzerland has a permanent open call for interested start-ups that are incorporated in Switzerland, are less than 5 years old and have – this is crucial – a space connection. So if this rings a bell please get in touch with us. Check out our website or write us an email if you have any further questions regarding this initiative.


Cyril studied Media Science in Fribourg and worked in Asset Management in Switzerland, Hong Kong and the UK. Before joining ESA BIC Switzerland he was member of the Impact Hub Zurich team and co-founded three companies.

Cyril Kubr, ESA BIC Space Tech Incubator

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