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CEE space tech startups explore new frontiers

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With a growing pool of talented engineers and a supportive ecosystem, Central and Eastern Europe is poised to see significant growth in the space industry over the coming decades, as regional startups explore new frontiers in space technology. satellites, space exploration and other areas of space technologies.

One of the main advantages of the CEE region is its proximity to established players in the European space industry, including the European Space Agency and major aerospace companies. This allows startups in the region to collaborate and partner with industry pioneers, gaining access to resources and expertise that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.

The development of the CEE space industry also relies on a favorable ecosystem, including government initiatives, accelerators and incubators, as well as a growing community of space enthusiasts. All of these help to foster innovation and foster industry growth in the region.

The European Space Agency plays an important role in the development of the sector across the region, with its business incubation centers (ESA BIC) as the largest network of incubators supporting space-related startups. The main goal is to support entrepreneurs with a space business idea and help them launch their products and businesses.

For Macedonian entrepreneur and space enthusiast Dime Galapchev, we are already feeling the benefits of space technology, and this notion will only grow in the years to come.

“In 2023, most people are enjoying the benefits of the modern era, completely unaware of how much they have space technology to thank for it. From the need to minimize computers in the early days of space travel, GPS, to the best optical cables and artificial organs made in Earth’s orbit today. Knowing this, I hope that governments and the private sector in our region will wake up and start investing more, because the space technology sector is the one that will accelerate our progress, because everything humanity needs is a challenge size and good engineers,” Galapchev said. Recursive.

In this article, we will highlight some of the CEE space technology startups and companies that are leading the way in this rapidly growing sector. From companies developing advanced satellite technologies to those exploring new frontiers in space exploration, these startups are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and shaping the future of space.

Country: Croatia

What theyre doing: Amphinicy Technologies is a provider of complex and technologically advanced software solutions for satellite machines that help satellites operate in orbit and improve their utility.

As the company points out, its engineers have provided comprehensive support to satellite operators, equipment manufacturers, teleports, and multimedia and broadband service providers. “We consult with our customers, collect requirements, design the system and develop tailor-made solutions,” explains the company.

Amphinicy Technologies has been active for over 20 years and operates in Luxembourg and Croatia. Last year, the company signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the “Remote Agents for Cloud-Based Monitoring and Control” project, based on its product Monica, a monitoring and control framework for the satellite industry.

The goal of the project is to adapt the Monica software suite for use in cloud-based systems, which represent a new architectural approach with a central monitoring and control instance that communicates with lightweight remote agents.

Country: Bulgaria

What theyre doing: Bulgarian space technology company specializes in engineering, construction and operation of nanosatellites and offers shared satellite missions that give nations, businesses and even universities access to space.

Through its shared satellite service, EnduroSat also aims to provide entrepreneurs, scientists and technologists with easy access to space, helping them drive innovation on this latest frontier.

Founded in 2015, the company currently has a team of over 80 people in Sofia and has proven to be the fastest growing space company in Europe with 300% year-on-year growth .

In late 2020, EnduroSat partnered with American space technology company Momentus for two service agreements: for the site of Kuwait’s first space and satellite missionand EnduroSat’s SPARTAN CubeSat in Momentus’ Vigoride orbit transfer vehicle for the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9.

Additionally, EnduroSat is also functioning with IBM to provide developers and students around the world with a quick and easy way to process space data before sending it back to Earth.

Country: Bulgaria

What theyre doing: Sfera Technologies, based in Sofia, was established in 2019 as a spin-off from an aerospace engineering team, and its main product is called Homeport – a network of distributed ground stations for satellites.

Companies with satellites in orbit can use Homeport to find ground stations capable of obtaining data from satellites based on price, data storage and processing options, and geographic availability.

Additionally, using smart contracts and blockchain oracles, Homeport also allows space companies to quickly compose a virtual earth segment for its satellites, receive data from it and quickly transmit it to customers.

Sfera’s approach also aims to enable space infrastructure to evolve efficiently and via a decentralized approach that differentiates the company from other players in this field.

With a background in aerospace engineering, the company’s CEO, Zdravko Dimitrov, is also a co-founder of SAT-1an initiative to bring together talented people from Bulgaria in the field of engineering.

Country: Poland

What theyre doing: Creotech designs, builds and assembles space systems, with extensive experience in the design, manufacturing, testing and assembly of flight models of spacecraft subsystems.

The Polish company has contributed to various successful space missions, including commercial and research satellites in low Earth orbit (e.g. ICEYE-X2, OPS-SAT), scientific payloads aboard the International Space Station (ASIM, DESSIS) and a Mars orbiter (ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter).

The company’s core team of more than 230 specialists is supported by a strong research and development team, including additional engineers with extensive experience in complex electronics. Creotech also has microsatellite production and AIT lines, and is working on a first 60 kg IOD satellite expected in the fourth quarter of 2023 and on deliveries to the Polish Ministry of Defense of a constellation in 2025.

They provide their own solutions to the most modern and technologically advanced research institutions in the world, namely the European Space Agency, the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN in Geneva, the GSI Center for Heavy Ion Research or the DESY research center in Germany.

Last year, Creotech was part of an international consortium led by the University of Innsbruck that was selected by the European Commission to build the first large quantum computer for the European Union. This international project aims to build a 100-qubit quantum computer by 2025 and reach technological maturity to provide a 1,000-qubit solution by 2029. The Polish company is currently listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and has 25 systems or subsystems flying on large satellites.

Country: Poland

What theyre doing: SatRevolution is a space technology startup that builds small and lightweight spacecraft. Founded in 2016, SatRevolution primarily focuses on building nanosatellites, with a team of around 20 people, mainly engineers, with experience in developing applications in harsh environments.

In April 2019, the company successfully transported Światowid, Poland’s first commercial cubesat-standard Earth observation satellite, into low Earth orbit as the company’s technology demonstrator.

NASA also listed SatRevolution as one of 12 companies worldwide that comprehensively design, manufacture and place observational nanosatellites that collect optical data in orbit.

Currently, the Polish startup is implementing the next steps to build a functional and commercial constellation of 1,500 observation satellites (REC) by 2028. At the beginning of this year, SatRevolution also signed a contract with the National Center for support to agriculture (KOWR) of the country. for the development of the satellite system for monitoring agricultural crops.

Country: Slovakia

What they do: Spacemanic, based in Bratislava, is a small satellite mission integrator, focused on providing innovative solutions, platforms and components for nanosatellites. The company is a spin-off company of the Slovak Organization for Space Activities (SOSA), which designed, developed, launched and successfully operates skCUBE.

Spacemanic works in the field of design, development and testing of fundamental components for small satellites, such as on-board computers, power system units and solar panels, with a team of engineers experienced in the fields radio communications and the design and operation of ground stations. .

The company has two laboratories equipped for the design and development of space mission technologies, as well as a small test facility for nanosatellite missions. One of Spacemanic’s main goals is to bring innovations in rapid satellite development and reduce the time from order to orbit to several months.

Country: Romania

What theyre doing: Digital Dryads is a Romanian startup that monitors and alerts deforestation using European Copernicus satellites which continuously observe the planet.

The company’s software monitors, analyzes and alerts crops and forests by combining aerial and satellite data, while detecting illegal logging in EU forests using cutting-edge satellite imagery ( of Sentinel 2) and machine learning methods.

Founded in 2020 and based in Bucharest, their technology also extends to detecting canopy stress from fungi, diseases, pests or droughts and analyzing crops on an unprecedented scale.

Digital Dryads too won first place at the 2020 edition of EU Datathlon, an open data competition for startups and social enterprises.

Do you know of any other CEE space tech startups that might make the list? Write to us at (email protected)

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