Frequently Asked Questions

The ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) are the largest network of space incubators in the World. Their objective is to support entrepreneurs with a space-connected business idea and growing clusters of space-related startups across Europe. All ESA BICs are managed by local champions who connect their ESA BIC to the local industry, universities, research organisations, government, and investor communities. This makes the ESA BICs very well embedded in the local communities as well as the place of choice for all space-related innovation and business. Tapping into this excellence provides rich opportunities to get products and services off the ground and market ready. This European-wide network fosters annually the creation of more than 200 startups across Europe. To date, ESA BICs have helped starting about 1200 companies. The ESA BIC Alumni contribute to an ever-larger part of the space economy, attracting funding that in total exceeds what many European countries invest in Space. ESA BICs create the future of space!

The Polish Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and ESA have identified the creation of ESA BIC Poland as a key element in the development plan of the Polish Space Industry. The objective of the ESA BIC Poland is to strengthen the community of successful space-related startups in Poland by supporting 35 startups over the period of 5 years under the ESA BIC scheme, so that they can develop their business and their technology until they are ready to leave the incubation phase and continue operating and growing afterwards.

ESA BIC Poland will select in total 35 startups in 5 years, from January 2023 to December 2027. The incubation period for the last startups to be selected will be completed in 2028. Each year, 5 startups will be incubated in Warsaw, and 2 startups in Rzeszów.

Incubation can last from 12 to 24 months. The applicant specifies the exact length of incubation in the proposal.

No, there is no requirement to transfer any equity or shares.

No, the funding is intended to for product development and IPR.

Yes, incentive provided by ESA BIC Poland qualify as de minimis aid.

Incubation takes place in two locations. In Warsaw, in the Brain Embassy co-working space – ul. Postępu 15 02-676 Warsaw. In Rzeszów, in the Science and Technology Park in Jasionka – Jasionka 954, 36-002 Jasionka. The operator of the Park is the Rzeszów Regional Development Agency S.A.

The applicant must choose where they want to be incubated. It depends on who will look after the applicant during the incubation process. In Warsaw it will be the Foundation for Technology Entrepreneurship, in Rzeszów it will be the Rzeszów Regional Development Agency S.A. It is also worth getting acquainted with the list of partners who cooperate within each location.

The company can be registered anywhere in Poland but its branch must be registered in Mazovia or Podkarpackie Voivodeship before signing the incubation contract. If you do not have a company, you can check rental office offers from our partners. It is possible to register a company in locations that provide office space.

Choose a location that is closer to you. During the incubation, many meetings will be held remotely, but you will have to attend some of the meetings in person. The location determines also which partners will be available to you during the incubation period and will support you with their expertise. Therefore, you should take a close look at the expertise of ESA BIC Poland partners and consider who can help you the most. On a case-by-case basis, partners from other locations may engage in support, but this is not guaranteed.

To see which partners are part of the consortium, see the Partners tab.

The applicant does not need to have a registered company at the time of submitting the application. The applicant will have to establish a company before signing the incubation contract.

The selection process is based on standard and transparent ESA processes.

ESA BIC Poland first assess the formal aspects of applications. If a non-compliance of a minor nature is found, the applicant may be asked to address this in an updated proposal within 48 hours.

If the application is compliant with the formal requirements, applicants will be invited to the ESA BIC Poland evaluation board (TEB) a few weeks after the submission deadline. During the TEB applicants will have the chance to pitch their business to the experts (15 minutes) and answer their questions (15 minutes).

The evaluation board consists of representatives of ESA BIC Poland, ESA, National Delegation, Foundation for Technology Entrepreneurship, Rzeszow Regional Development Agency and other partners and experts.

The applicant receives information about the possibility of re-submitting the application after receiving negative information from the formal (Tender Opening Board) or substantive evaluation (Tender Evaluation Board). The feedback also includes tips on what should be improved or changed in the next application.

The start-up will select partners who will provide support for a total of 80 hours.  Before or at the beginning of incubation, the start-up determines the possible scope of support together with the partner.