Space, as it seems, is where it's at right now. Prices are dropping and possibilities increasing, making way for an industry expected to have a turnover of $1.4 trillion by 2030. Of course, no country wants to be left behind and miss out on this new and meaningful space race.
On January 25, it was announced that the European Commission, European Investment Bank, and European Investment Fund will commit at least €1 billion to the new CASSINI Space Entrepreneurship Initiative.
The money is intended to support smaller and medium-sized businesses, those developing hardware for space use, as well as those developing software and applications. A clear reason for creating this fund is to prevent promising startups from leaving Europe in favor of, for example, the United States.
“Europe is lacking access to funding in order to allow industry to flourish(...) Europe is full of ideas, it’s full of energy, but they need the means to transform these ideas into projects, into program and into activities” said Josef Aschbacher, director general of ESA in an article written by SpaceNews.
While a lot of money in and of itself, the idea is to team up with private investors and encourage investments there as well. Beyond just grants for businesses to apply for, CASSINI also includes mentoring, networking, and hackathons.
Are you an aspiring space entrepreneur? Then in March, you'll be able to apply for one of four themed matchmaking events held this year. These events will be an opportunity to establish partnerships with other businesses as well as investors. The themes are as follow:
- Infrastructure lifecycle support
- Defending & Securing from (and in) space
- Space for human well-being, education, and entertainment
- Improving access to space
The CASSINI Business Accelerator will be launched in Q3 of this year, according to the European Commission.