Austria

Prof. Hans Sünkel,
Martin Mössler &
Inês Plácido

Science Park Graz
Stremayrgasse 16
8010 Graz
Austria

Phone: +43 316 873 9101
Fostering Austrian cross-sectorial innovation, based on the capabilities of space data and services, leading to increase economic activity, growth and prosperity in Austria and beyond.

Introduction

Science Park Graz is a business incubator with a 20-year track record of interfacing with science and industry. It is supported by such stakeholders as the regional governments of the State of Styria, the City of Graz, Graz University of Technology and other universities within the region. It cooperates with various industry clusters (e.g. green tech, automotive), ensuring long-term relationships between industry, SMEs, scientific bodies and start-ups. With extensive experience in interacting with industry, Science Park Graz is embedded in a strong community of players within multiple sectors.

WHY PROMOTE SPACE APPLICATIONS IN AUSTRIA?

ESA’s Business Applications programme offers Austrian companies and communities powerful tools to fully exploit space assets for the benefit of the economy and everyday life. At the heart of these activities, the ESA Business Ambassador for Austria will promote the utilisation of space-based products and services such as Earth Observation data, Satellite Navigation, Telecommunication services and technologies derived from Human Spaceflight for applying these assets to successful terrestrial applications and services.
With the objective to create new and sustainable businesses, the Ambassador fosters engagement between both space and non-space players from industry and academia into national and international partnerships. In addition, it serves as a starting point to perform business and technical feasibility checks, undertake demonstrators and pilots, and to obtain both technical expertise and funding from ESA and industry partners.
The Ambassador is operating to support interested companies, entrepreneurs and research organizations taking advantage of the multiple opportunities within the ESA Business Applications programmes, strengthening and enlarging the Austrian community that is already exploring space data to create sustainable services.
The Ambassador’s goal is therefore ultimately linked to fostering Austrian cross-sectorial innovation, based on the capabilities of space data and services, leading to increase economic activity, growth and prosperity in Austria and beyond.


AUSTRIAN AMBASSADOR 

Our activities include: 

  1. Providing information and coaching on programmes and support to the submission of proposals to ESA Business Applications opportunities;
  2. Fostering networking and awareness raising through the participation or organization of workshops and thematic events, putting together complementary stakeholders (e.g. space data experts, service providers, entities in a value chain, potential customers);
  3. Implementing the ESA Spark Funding Austria call, a national funding opportunity (detailed below);
  4. Leveraging on Austria’s “one-stop-shop” for space related businesses, creating synergies between Business Incubation, Downstream Applications and Technology Transfer.


ESA SPARK FUNDING AUSTRIA CALL

The ESA Spark Funding Austria Call is one of the tools put in place by the Austrian Ambassador to establish a first connection to ESA Business Applications programmes.

ESA Spark aims to support further stages of development of Austrian companies that already have an initial customer base. It targets small and medium-sized companies (SME) that use, or could benefit from using, space technology or services in their activities. The so-called “downstream applications” include, for example, the usage of sensors and materials from space, as well as leveraging on satellite communication or Earth Observation data. Starting from these assets, ESA Spark provides funding to grow and create new business lines in non-space markets, such as agriculture, energy, environment, health, safety or transport. ESA Spark offers zero-equity funding of € 50,000.00 to develop a prototype or mock-up and a business plan.

“Science Park Graz agreed with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) to pioneer a unique approach in the ESA Spark call for Austria, which is the alignment of the projects with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, says Martin Mössler, Managing Director of Science Park Graz and General Manager of ESA Space Solutions Austria. 

The five projects awarded in the first open call were those that could prove, in addition to the business potential and the technical feasibility, their ability to contribute to those goals and targets for a better future.

A new funding call will be issued in 2023. For more information, contact us at spacesolutions@sciencepark.at