The Tallinn City Government sent their draft resolution to the City Council today, according to which the city of Tallinn agrees to participate as a partner in the pan-European business incubator programme of the European Space Agency.
Tallinn will finance the programme between 2017–2021, with EUR 50,000 allocated annually from the city budget to support the project.
Deputy Mayor Arvo Sarapuu said that Tallinn has a strong incubation environment that supports its output and helps to market it, while the European Space Agency helps to open doors to the companies’ competitive products globally.
As of 1 September 2015, Estonia is a full member of the European Space Agency (ESA), thereby creating this unique opportunity to open the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre (BIC) in Estonia. The ESA Business Incubation Centre is targeting companies engaged in the use of space technology applications that can be used here on Earth. According to the agreement concluded with Enterprise Estonia (the Estonian Space Office at Enterprise Estonia), opening the ESA Business Incubation Centre in Estonia will be advised and organised by Tartu Science Park, who will also be a service provider along with the Foundation Tallinn Science Park TEHNOPOL.
The respective application was filed by the Estonian Space Office with the European Space Agency in June 2016, and should a positive answer arrive in September, by 1 October the business plan and marketing strategy of the Estonian business incubation centre of the ESA will be compiled. The goal set for the project is that during the five-year agreement period (2017–2021), 25 local enterprises would complete the ESA business incubation programme in Estonia (incl. in Tallinn and Tartu).
The business incubation programme for space systems will be opened at the Foundation Tallinn Science Park TEHNOPOL. According to the preliminary agreements concluded so far, Tallinn University of Technology will provide technical assistance and guidance, while Foundation Tallinn Science Park TEHNOPOL will provide administrative and business-related support and business counselling. Regular product development weekends, workshops and open competitions are planned to devise business ideas and prototypes related to the development of new applications for space technologies on earth.
The founding of the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre in Tallinn will support the competitiveness and exports of local businesses, enabling the creation of high-paid jobs (statistics on ESA BIC companies indicates that, on average, four new jobs will be created in the first year and up to 15 in the first five years) and helping to better realise the opportunities opened for Estonia with ESA membership.
The project will be managed in Tallinn by the Tallinn City Enterprise Department.