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Space Hubs Network wants to foster space technology in Europe

Space Hubs Network (SUN) is a two-year EU-funded programme that aims to increase the commercialisation of space-enabled solutions and the growth of European entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale-ups, in space downstream and upstream sectors. 

With the help of a broad network of experienced mentors, the programme will connect investors and potential clients to the industry, implementing three types of mentoring programs directed to entrepreneurs, start-ups, and scale-ups in order to help them access funding, develop their ideas and build relationships with relevant stakeholders in the space industry.

“Despite the growing interest and investments in the space industry, we can see that European space start-ups and scale-ups still struggle to commercialize their products and get access to finance. Although there is a support network for European space projects, the fragmentation in space hubs and initiatives still exists – when initiatives compete or overlap, there are gaps in support and that creates the need for new initiatives that complement each other at growing start-ups and scale-ups, also engaging SMEs in space innovation. We believe that SUN has a great potential to fill those gaps and build bridges between the initiatives”, Goda Jonaityte, Startup Division.

“SUN project is a great chance for start-ups in the space sector to receive support from a wide network of experts all over Europe. For example, our pre-incubation program will offer dedicated mentorship to early-stage start-ups, supporting the increase of their technology and investment readiness level. We encourage entrepreneurs and start-ups to apply and make the most of this unique opportunity”, Science Park Graz.

For the duration of the programme, SUN will promote six hackathons, 12 roadshows events and workshops and 15 local and international start-up events to engage SMEs in space innovation and support the development of space applications. These events will focus on specific themes: food & agriculture, transport & logistics, infrastructure & smart cities, and environment & sustainability, and will be held in six European countries, such as Austria, Ireland, Lithuania, France, Poland, and Romania.

The first open call for the incubation and acceleration programs will be held in April 2021, and the second one in September 2021.

“Space serves as a wonderful source of inspiration for innovations on earth. Enlarging and empowering new Space enthusiasts is at the core of the SUN project. We are proud that we may support the birth of new ideas, ventures and start-ups in the Space sector and can accelerate the cross-sectoral learning and technology transfer between industries in space and on earth. SUN enables us to act as the network hub that nurtures and links great, innovative and exciting people and projects.”, Florian Lipok, Brimatech.

This programme is designed and run by six organisations experienced in the space sector and start-ups industry community: Axsysnav, Brimatech Services, Civitta Romania, F6S, Science Park Graz and Startup Division.

“AXSYSNAV and the SUN consortium welcome space entrepreneurs – old and new – to learn how our project can provide free guidance to expand your company’s space business. Whether your startup is looking for series-A funding or commercialising a great idea, our experts in the Space Hubs Network are ready to help. Get connected today”, Simon Chambers, AXSYSNAV.

The programme is free of charge to all attendees. This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement no. 101004374.