EOcafe: ESA InCubed, Investing in Industrial Innovation

The European Space Agency’s InCubed programme stands for ‘Investing in Industrial Innovation’ and is a Public Private Partnership co-funding programme run by the ESA Φ-lab. InCubed is an open call programme supporting innovative and commercially viable products and services using satellite imagery and datasets, with a focus on removing entry barriers to the commercial marketplace. The programme has a very wide scope and can be used to co-fund anything from building satellites to ground applications and everything in between, or to develop new EO business models.

The ESA Φ-lab creates or discovers new transformational ideas, selects and nurtures the good ones, develops the “solution” by testing and maturing them, and with the InCubed programme invests in the best ones to reach market adoption. Running since July 2018, it has supported many startups, small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies bring their Earth observation solutions to market and provide technological advances and tangible societal benefits. The InCubed programme is an integral part of the ESA Φ-lab, where it represents the last step of the innovation pipeline.

The InCubed programme runs as a permanent open call, as well as specific “national calls” that run every year which are organised in cooperation with its participating Member States, in order to boost EO innovation and investment in specific countries. A number of initiatives have benefited from awards under InCubed and we shall hear about two such success stories and how the programme concretely supported their business.

Our host Geoff Sawyer (EARSC Strategic Advisor and former Secretary General) will be joined by Jose Manuel Delgado Blasco (Commercial EO System Support Engineer at Φ-lab Invest Office), David Kolitzus (Head of Department – Agriculture, GeoVille) and Florian Patzwahl (Lead Systems Engineer, OroraTech). Together, they will explore how the InCubed programme can support industrial innovation in the EO sector and how companies can benefit from it.

Questions that could be addressed during this EOcafe include:

  • How did the ESA InCubed programme come about? How does it fit into the wider ESA Φ-lab initiative?
  • How does the InCubed programme work? How can companies apply? What type of support is provided?
  • What is the added value of the InCubed programme compared to other funding schemes? Does this reflect ongoing trends or shifts in investment in the EO sector?
  • What has been the impact of the InCubed programme so far? How has it concretely benefited companies?
  • What lessons learned can previous awardees share with any aspiring applicants?
  • What are the next steps? Are there any upcoming events or opportunities that companies should be aware of?

Registration: The webinar is open to all. Registration is free but compulsory.

Registration link

Please note this is a virtual event!

EOcafe is part of a series of EARSC meetings that offer timely, relevant, and practical information on a broad variety of topics related to the EO sector. Join us every two weeks to discuss and network while enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.


  • The use of a video camera is not mandatory but is encouraged to facilitate better interaction between the attendees and the guest speaker(s).
  • The EOcafe will stay open after 17:00 in case our guests want to continue the discussion.
  • By registering for this event, you accept the terms and conditions (https://earsc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/EARSC_Events_GDPR.pdf).

If you have any questions, and/or you want to know more about the EOcafe, and/or you want to share an idea about a future EOcafe, please contact Tanya Walker (tanya.walker@earsc.org).

Author: EARSC

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