Following the opening of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Business Incubation Centre (BIC) in Athens in October 2022, business opportunities for smaller actors, especially within the telecommunication industry, have increased. A total of 25 start-up companies will be selected and supported by ESA up until 2026, by which time they will have grown enough to continue their space activities independently.
These companies will receive legal and technical support from ESA, as well as support with business strategy and marketing matters. They will be able to enter the ESA community, attend events, share ideas, and receive training. Additionally, they will have the chance to get to an office and further infrastructure and equipment for their ventures. ESA can also offer them access to much-needed software and assistance in building their reputation and brand.
An opportunity that has arisen recently is the tender for the Greek National SmallSat Programme, which was published on 17 May 2023. This is a venture introduced and run by ESA BIC Athens to benefit the Greek Space industry as the ownership of the satellites will be directly transferred to a Greek Public Entity designated by the Ministry of Digital Governance. This project aims to develop satellite(s) that will offer telecommunications Governmental Services over Europe and Greece on a 24/7 basis. Greek companies have been invited to submit their proposals and interest in developing small satellites under the auspices of ESA BIC Greece.
The satellite(s) to be developed will operate in X-bands. The project will also include the Satellite Control Centre SW, the complete operation of the launching process of said satellites, and the in-orbit commissioning, including the calibration of the satellite(s). For the Geographical Return, the project should maximise local content with a target of 35% for the Space Segment. To participate in the tender, the entity must be established in Greece. The satellite(s) will be operated by the nationally controlled satellite operator Hellas Sat.
This could be a great opportunity for any small-to-medium satellite company building satellites, especially for telecommunication use, with a local presence in Greece. This tender represents an amazing opportunity to initiate or boost business by joining one of the biggest stakeholders in satellite activity worldwide, ESA.
Companies willing to participate have until 25 August 2023. Requests for clarifications and an extension of the closing date are due on 15 August 2023.
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