What is CASSINI?

CASSINI (Competitive Space Start-ups for INnovatIon) is a comprehensive initiative managed by DG DEFIS to:
i. expand the number of start-ups in the EU building businesses based on innovative EU space technologies, also by linking them to digital/ICT (i.e. expand a ‘space ecosystem’)
ii. increase their chances to succeed (with both technical and managerial support)
iii. accelerate/secure their growth & scale up (attracting more private investors)

It consolidates/streamlines existing initiatives as well as envisages new ones, to support innovation & start-up and to create a coherent, long term, structured, focused and scalable public support mechanism. It is part of the EU Strategy for SMEs. Synergies with other Commission’s complementary activities – like Start Up Europe - are to be exploited to maximize mutual benefits.

Galileo Incubation

Funded by the EU Commission, to support entrepreneurs and startups to move beyond idea conception into development of their solutions and true commercial ventures. The top 12 Galileo Masters winners are invited to a Bootcamp, where the Galileo Incubation expert evaluators nominate the Top six candidates, who receive incubation and acceleration prize packages worth up to 62k€ each. These six winners will be awarded in an Awards Ceremony (a good networking occasion). The incubation prizes are co-funded by up to 70% by EC.

Together with all the other activities listed below (Galileo, Copernicus Masters, etc.) it is part of the CASSINI initiative*, to support entrepreneurs using space-based technologies. More details here

Galileo Masters

The innovation competition awards forward‐thinking applications based on use of the EU satellite navigation technology. It provides more than 20 prizes of up to 16k€ each, to support for innovations at any development stage, with the ultimate aim of turning them into real business cases. All innovators, such as companies, startups, students, research associates, non-university research & development institutions, as well as individuals and teams, can apply (minimum age of 18 years). More details here

Copernicus Masters

The Copernicus Masters is equivalent to the Galileo one, but focused on Earth Observation technology. Every year, the best solutions using Copernicus data have the chance to win prizes, including cash prizes, technical support, access to testing facilities, prototype development, publicity, marketing support, access to experts and to public funding.More details here

Copernicus Accelerator

The Copernicus Accelerator helps 50 of Europe’s boldest innovators and start-ups. Its 12-month tailor-made coaching programme provides a challenging, inspiring and inclusive setting for you to take your idea to the next level. The Copernicus Accelerator offers coaching, bootcamps, virtual training, access to the EO network, meeting investors and market validation.More details here

Copernicus Hackathons

Funded by the EU Commission, brings together developers, entrepreneurs and topic-specific experts to develop new applications based on Copernicus Earth observation data and services. Copernicus Hackathons will give people all over Europe the chance to come together and explore many application fields here on Earth with free and open space data from Copernicus.More details here

Copernicus Incubation

It supports the most innovative and commercially promising business applications based on Copernicus data and services. It awards 50,000 EUR to 20 European start-ups every year, to fund their incubation or acceleration in a programme or organisation of their choice. Start-ups who receive the grant get equity-free funding to support their incubation. Furthermore, they get access to networks, tools and promotion opportunities. If you are a start-up at an early incubation stage, this support can help you to achieve a first working product. If you are at a later stage or scale-up, the programme can help you to accelerate your launch, improve your Copernicus-based product or service.More details here


Astropreneurs supports entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs, coming from space and non-space sectors, to create viable business cases and have faster markets approaches by mentoring them on businesses and technical needs, helping them to access private and public funding, but also to overcome the financial, administrative and networking barriers that are now preventing them from more success in the commercial phases.

Participanting entities: Instituto Pedro Nunes (PT), Verhaert (BE), Brimatech Services GmbH (AT), Science and Technology Facilities Council – STFC (UK), Aerospace Valley (FR), Centrum für Satellitennavigation Hessen – CESAH (DE), CzechInvest (UK), Knowledge Innovation Market – KIM (SP)More details here


It aims at giving Europe's innovative start-ups in the space sector every opportunity to become world-leading companies.
SPACE-UP promotes technology transfer, networking, outreach and matchmaking with business angels, crowd funders, investors, human resource specialists and CEOs from corporates, culminating in six European SPACE ACADEMIES. Exposure to strategic corporate investors is pursued by engaging actively with relevant high tech industries like automotive or robotics. SPACE-UP experts offer advice on how to best profit from the opportunities represented by the EC Public Funds and the European Space Agency.
Promising tech start-ups are being guided through already existing services. 60 start-ups, applying for the SPACE-UP coaching services, selected on the basis of the most viable business cases are invited to attend the SPACE ACADEMIES, taking place across Europe and beyond. They are offered access to all partners’ services and to customized one-to-one coaching within areas of expertise they need, to reach their next commercial stages. More details here


It aims at securing the creation and up-scaling of European businesses, offering technology and services in and from the space-sector, ensuring value creation and innovation through cross-fertilization, training and locally driven networks and initiatives that connect effectively with existing EU initiatives.
This is pursued through the creation of 3 new Space Hubs in Madrid, Tallinn and Coimbra strengthening local entrepreneurship/business ecosystems and networks. The 3 new HUBs have extensive experience in providing support to start-ups and will be supported by entities that are: experts on investor readiness, access to finance services and technology transfer. More details here

Space End

Space End’s overall aim is to expand the impact and adoption of Space Tech by bringing together space start-ups, SMEs, entrepreneurs, spacetech providers and the digital ecosystem to increase commercial relevance of the technologies across industrial sectors and accelerate their access to market and/or scaling. Successful companies will join the IoT Tribe Space Endeavour equity-free acceleration programme, taking on their businesses with key strategies, experts, mentors and tech integrators to reach their proof of value and the next level of growth over a 3 month period. The three cohorts will begin in June 2020, November 2020 and April 2021.More details here