Hungary set to compete in its first European Space Agency tender for start-ups


Underscoring Hungary's long history of technical and scientific expertise, the European Space Agency (ESA) has earmarked Hungary for vital work in technology development.

After opening an ESA Business Incubation Centre (or ESA BIC) in Budapest last summer, ESA has now published its first Hungarian tender to support space industry start-ups. (ESA BICs work with entrepreneurs across Europe in developing innovations and space-industry ideas into commercial start-ups.)

The exact scope of the tender is to lend support to start-up companies committed to using space technology for producing “Earth products” or providing “Earth services”. The filing deadline for the tender is 30 November 2018, and the competitors will not be limited to Hungary.

Based on the tender, ESA will grant EUR 50,000 non-repayable financial aid to five selected start-up companies from any of the ESA member states.

An international assessment committee together with ESA will oversee the selection process. The tender amount is not expected to fund the total research, but will be sufficient for the start-ups to make introductions to possible investors. Europe's 21 ESA BICs are in contact allowing investors from the Czech Republic to the UK to obtain information on investment opportunities in the space sector.

Underscoring Hungary's commitment to space technology, on 1 November 2018 the Hungarian government appointed Dr. Orsolya Ferencz as the national commissioner for space research, tasked with arranging for the development of ESA regulations and the preparation of research contracts. She will also supervise the harmonisation of space research strategies and policies, represent Hungary in various international space forums and organisations, and oversee the Space Research Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Hungary joined the ESA in 2015.

For more information on opportunities in Budapest's ESA BIC and space research in Hungary and Europe, please contact us.