Welcome to the InCubed programme

The InCubed programme

ESA’s InCubed programme helps industry develop new commercial Earth observation based products with rapid co-funding to help reduce the risk on the company’s investment in product development and deployment into the market.

Investing in Industrial Innovation – InCubed – is a European Space Agency open call programme supporting innovative projects related to Earth Observation, with the focus of removing barriers to entry of the commercial marketplace. This new ESA initiative has a permanently open call for European businesses to apply for a chance to gain financial and practical support for industry projects.The goal is to support industry-led initiatives that will open new market opportunities, bring innovative systems and products faster to market, and compete in the global marketplace.

Through InCubed, companies developing innovative systems, components and products in the Earth observation business sector can approach ESA at any time for support to make their venture technically viable and commercially competitive. Proposals could be about satellites, constellations, instruments or big data analytics, for example.

“Earth observation is undergoing a paradigm shift,” said Josef Aschbacher, Director of ESA’s Earth Observation Programmes.

“Commercial companies, big and small, are developing exciting assets, such as satellites, ground systems and data analytics solutions. ESA has set up a programme, called InCubed, to help European industry to establish a leading market position.

“Speed and flexibility in deciding and implementing a partnership proposal are key ingredients for success. InCubed will do that.”

How does it works?

►InCubed is a permanently open call for proposals from industry

►Co-funding partnerships with national delegations covering up to 50% of development costs and more

►30M€ available for 2017-2021

Who can apply?

►Companies, universities, research institutions

►From 13 participating states

►High added-value projects with strong innovation potential and promising commercial perspectives


With a budget of more than €35 million over the next four years, InCubed is now open for proposals from businesses in 13 participating states (Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). They can ‘pitch their proposition’ through ESA’s Electronic Mailing Invitation to Tender System.

InCubed will, in most cases, co-fund up to 50% of a proposed venture. It can also provide access to ESA expertise and technical support. Proposals must be of sufficient technical readiness and market viability, meaning that the project would eventually be sustained by the market, without further public funding.  

For more information or to submit a proposalclick here.


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