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Primomiglio SGR and ESA Business Application to boost New Space ecosystem

On 6th of February Primomiglio SGR and ESA signed a Letter of Intent aimed at improving access to venture capital for promising European Companies in Italy and across Europe.

Signature of the Letter of Intention between ESA and Primomiglio SGR (Astra Ventures). Standing, from left to right: Nick Appleyard, Head of Downstream Applications, ESA Lorenzo Scatena,  Managing Director, Fondazione E. Amaldi, Elia Montanari, Head of Controlling at Downstream Applications, ESA. Sitting, from left to right: Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, Gianluca Dettori, Chairman, Primomiglio SGR (Astra Ventures).


Primomiglio SGR is the management firm behind “Astra Ventures”, the first Italian Venture fund focused on Space technologies and applications in partnership with Fondazione E. Amaldi and the Italian Space Agency, ASI.

With “Astra Ventures”, Italy joins the group of ESA Member States willing to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the fast-growing “New Space” ecosystem, with a focus on rapid innovation, new business models and novel applications of space technology. “Astra Ventures”, backed by ASI as cornerstone investor, is currently raising €80m and intends to start operations in Q2 2019.

“We are really excited about the partnership with ESA,“ said Gianluca Dettori, Chairman of Primomiglio SGR, “…we are working together with our advisor Fondazione E. Amaldi to start operating our dedicated space fund by this year. This partnership allows us to start operating in this sector with our current investment operations.”

ESA was also very positive on the partnership with Astra Ventures. Magali Vaissiere, ESA’s Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications stated,  “Today’s event illustrates how much further our partnership models have progressed. Our commercially oriented applications projects now attract equal investment from ESA, industry and private third party investors: we anticipate that “Astra Ventures” will reinforce this picture.”

“Space industry is changing. For the first time in history, even small companies can build and launch their own spacecraft with the help of private investment, and generate commercial returns from customers,”  added Nick Appleyard, ESA’s Head of Downstream Business Applications. “With the public investment and the expertise that ESA can add, we can work in partnership to energise innovation and economic returns.”

About Primomiglio SGR:

Primomiglio is an Italian based investment company focused on early stage technology venture capital. It is currently operating with Barcamper Ventures’ seed to early stage fund, focused on digital technology.

About E. Amaldi Foundation:

Edoardo Amaldi Foundation (F.E.A.), aims to promote and support scientific research in order to offer a new way to better understand applied research and to transfer technology. The E. Amaldi Foundation takes the aerospace sector as a fundamental tool for Italian economic growth and as a source of innovation for the improvement of competitiveness, productivity and employment.

About ESA Business Applications

ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES), transforms research and development investment into commercial products that benefit our daily lives.

As the core applications programme within ARTES, ESA Business Applications is the mark of the best European ventures powered by Space. ESA Business Applications focuses on the development of space applications and services that exploit 50 years of investment in space by ESA, in addition to space technologies developed by other agencies and organisations.

ESA Business Applications and ARTES programmes currently oversee more than 500 projects across healthtech, fintech, agritech and many other commercial sectors.

Further information on ARTES Applications can be found at:

05 February 2019
Last updated at 07 February 2019 - 09:39