Tartu to spend €200,000 to attract space tech startups

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The city of Tartu. Source: Tarmo Haud.

Tartu City Government is proposing to spend €200,000 to attract eight startups to the city to support the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Estonian business incubator ESA BIC Estonia.

"There are very good opportunities in Tartu to develop and put on the market space technologies, as the Tartu Observatory of the University of Tartu has transformed Tartu into a center for the development of space science and space technologies, and the ESA business incubator enables innovative solutions to grow into a business," Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm (Reform) said.

"In view of this great potential, it makes sense for the city of Tartu to co-finance the business incubator and thereby support the evolvement of various space technology-based endeavors as success stories," Tamm added.

The total cost of the project in supporting the operation of the ESA business incubator in 2022-2025 is €1 million and it is co-financed by the ESA. The share of the city of Tartu is €200,000 over a four-year period.

Estonia started official cooperation with ESA in 2007 and became its full member in 2015. The first ESA business incubator in the Baltic countries was opened in 2017. Since its inception, the  ESA business incubator in Tartu has accepted nine space technology startups and created 32 jobs.

The startups of the Tartu business incubator have raised €259,000 in additional funding and their cumulative sales turnover exceeded €1.2 million at the end of last year.

The ESA Estonian business incubator is part of a global network of incubators that includes 22 space business incubators at 60 locations across Europe. To date, the network has supported the creation and development of over 1,100 space technology startups.

The ESA Estonian business incubator, which operates in Tartu and Tallinn, aims to host 20 space startups within five years by providing them €50,000 in support and industry-specific mentors for product development.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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