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1 billion for the Lithuanian economy: the European Space Agency's business incubator launches

Date

2022 12 23

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Ministry of the Economy and Innovation (EIMIN) is investing in the growth of the space industry and the promotion of space start-ups. The European Space Agency Business Incubator (ESA BIC Lithuania) is being set up in Lithuania to bring together space start-ups, provide them with technical and consultancy support and support the development of innovative products. The incubator's start-up funding until 2027 will come from a EUR 500,000 package of EUR 1 billion planned for the Lithuanian economy.

"We have a huge potential in space that needs to be nurtured and strengthened, which is why we continue to invest in this area. This incubator will become an accelerator for the space industry, expanding the range of space-related companies. Over the next five years, the incubator should select and support 25 promising start-ups and help them develop their ideas into value-added businesses. This will help us achieve our goal of growing the space sector tenfold in a few years," said Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of the Economy and Innovation.

"The ESA Business Incubation Centre is a new and very important, logical step after Lithuania's accession as an ESA Associate Member. The space sector is a promising, horizontal field that is attractive not only to the scientific community, but also to the business community - both big investors and start-ups. The establishment of this centre will give them an impetus to develop innovations and advanced technologies, as well as promote international cooperation and involvement in international networks," said Eglė Markevičiūtė, Vice-Minister of the Economy and Innovation.

The Visoriai Information Technology Park has been selected as the coordinator of the ESA BIC Lithuania and has signed an agreement with the European Space Agency. On the basis of this agreement, the incubator will operate in Vilnius and Kaunas - Visoriai Information Technology Park and Kaunas Tech Park.

The incubated companies in Visoriai Information Technology Park and Kaunas Tech Park will have access to technical and consultancy support. It is planned that, in addition to the favourable conditions for product development, each start-up operating in the ESA BIC Lithuania incubators in Vilnius and Kaunas will receive EUR 50,000 in funding. Startups incubated in Vilnius will be eligible for an additional EUR 25,000 in funding from Vilnius City Municipality.

ESA BIC is the largest network of business incubators in Europe, bringing together more than 1,100 start-ups in different European countries. Currently, 23 ESA Business Incubation Centres operate in 18 ESA Member States. Each ESA BIC incubator is managed by a local operator who connects start-ups, universities, research centres, in-country businesses, government organisations and investors in a value chain.

Ministry of the Economy and Innovation has prepared a concept for the development of the Lithuanian space sector, which sets the goal of increasing the country's space sector tenfold to 1% of GDP by 2027.

There are more than 30 companies involved in space supply chains in Lithuania, each with an average sales revenue of EUR 0.5 million. The number of space companies in Lithuania is expected to grow more than 2.5 times in 5 years.