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22 May 2015

Ottobrunn, 22 May 2015 – ESA BIC Bavaria, part of the European Space Agency's Business Incubation Centre (BIC) programme, is poised to expand its presence in the aerospace hotbed Bavaria with the opening of another branch office in Ottobrunn near Munich. [ more... ]

The Bavarian state government – itself a longstanding ESA BIC partner and supporter – also hailed the programme's new partnership with Airbus Defence and Space at the Ludwig Bölkow Campus in Ottobrunn. 

Bavarian space incubation programme expands with new facilities at Ludwig Bölkow Campus near Munich

“The new ESA BIC Bavaria branch location in Ottobrunn will enable us to drive the creation of new start-ups based on the research endeavours pursued on-campus.” explains Ilse Aigner, Bavaria's State Minister of Economics. Smaller companies in particular have the ability to provide fresh, innovative ideas to Bavaria’s aerospace industry. Much of this sector’s supplier landscape also focuses on the midmarket, which makes these firms’ contributions all the more important.”

Airbus Defence and Space, a global player in the aerospace industry, and the ESA BIC programme, the leading space entrepreneurship initiative in Europe, expect their combined efforts to achieve another surge in the commercial use of space infrastructures and technologies.

"The aerospace hub of Ottobrunn and its newly constructed Ludwig Bölkow Campus offer an ideal setting for new companies to grow in collaboration with research and development. This new location promises to integrate Ottobrunn into the ESA BIC Bavaria's outstanding partner programme" states Thomas Müller, member of the Executive Committee of Airbus Defence and Space and responsible for the Airbus site in Ottobrunn.

“The Ludwig Bölkow Campus is proud to figure amongst ESA’s Business Incubation Centres from now on” adds Alexander Mager, Managing Director of the Ludwig Bölkow Campus GmbH.

The ESA BIC programme now offers start-up entrepreneurs extensive financial and technical support at 20 locations in eight countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UK.

“ESA's incubation programme has already helped to found 300 companies and is now supporting 100 new start-ups every year, making it the fastest-growing initiative of its kind in the space industry,” declares ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, “and I am glad that the first one created was here in Bavaria with the strong support of the government and of the DLR”.

Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), which manages the ESA BIC Bavaria, has been responsible for 98 of these new foundations and the creation of more than 1,200 new jobs, which – along with its impressive network of partners – gives it a place of prominence among ESA's incubation centres in Europe. Bavaria's ESA BIC programme works closely with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Fraunhofer- Gesellschaft, Germany's two largest research institutions. Further support is provided by the Wirtschaftsförderung Berchtesgadener Land (a local business-promotion association) and Bavaria's two most financially sound savings banks, Sparkasse Nürnberg and Kreissparkasse München-Starnberg-Ebersberg.

Start-ups founded through the ESA BIC programme benefit from a broad portfolio of space technologies and IP protection services, as well as from their cooperation with the various partners involved. Europe's space programmes in satellite navigation (Galileo), Earth observation (Copernicus), and satellite communications also offer fantastic opportunities to established companies – and especially to those just getting their feet on the ground.

"Airbus Defence and Space is the first industrial aerospace company to join our incubation programme," reports Thorsten Rudolph, CEO of AZO. "With its help, we'll now be able to offer our incubatees and new companies an even wider range of support, from financing and R&D all the way to market launch."

About ESA BIC Bavaria

Since August 2009, Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO) has managed the ESA Business Incubation Centre Bavaria on behalf of the European Space Agency. The centre has since expanded to include a total of four locations: Oberpfaffenhofen, Nuremberg, Berchtesgadener Land, and most recently, Ottobrunn. With more than 98 newly founded start-ups and more than 1,200 new jobs to its name, AZO's incubation programme is one of Europe's most successful initiatives in promoting the commercial use of aerospace technologies. In addition to financial support, incubatees at ESA BIC Bavaria receive technical assistance from renowned partners and access to tailored coaching services and networking activities. The centre selects its new candidates four times each year, but applications are welcome at any time.

About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs some 38,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €13 billion per year.

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