Support to business applications based on Copernicus data and services
The Copernicus Incubation Programme supports the most innovative and commercially promising business applications based on Copernicus data and services. The programme awards 50,000 EUR to 20 European start-ups every year. The investment goes toward their incubation or acceleration in a programme or organisation of their choice.
Free funding to support incubation
Start-ups who receive the grant get equity-free funding to support their incubation. Furthermore, they get access to new 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 incubation stage or scale-up, the programme can help you to accelerate your business launch, improve your existing Copernicus-based product or service or increase its competitive advantage.
Maximum 50.000 euro for 1 year
- Start-ups receive up to 50,000 EUR and up to 85% of the total costs described in their application to the programme.
- Co-funding is required for at least 15% of the total costs. Any co-funding source is eligible, such as business angels, subsidy programmes, investors, another incubation programme or the start-up itself. In-kind contributions such as office space or coaching hours cannot be admitted as part of the required co-funding.
- The funding covers costs up to 1 year.
- Selected start-ups receive 50% of the total grant as pre-financing. The remaining payment happens at final delivery (based on accountancy statements to prove costs).
- Lead time for the incubation grant is approximately 4 weeks after the announcement of selection results.
Who can apply?
You are either a start-up or a team of entrepreneurs with a maximum of five years of operational history since the registration of your business. You may be at the early incubation stage or preparing for launch and scaling. Applicants should set up a company in any EU28 country, Iceland or Norway before receiving any funding from the programme (but not necessarily before applying).
This programme only accepts joint applications: the start-up is required to apply together with a support programme that agrees to incubate the start-up if it receives the funding. The start-up must be the lead applicant and sole beneficiary.
- Teams of entrepreneurs (at least 2 complementary profiles);
- Legally established start-ups;
- University and research institute spinouts;
- Corporate spinouts;
- Venturing teams within corporate venture programs with an intention to spin out.
Eligible support programs*
- Governmental business incubators and accelerators;
- University incubators and accelerators;
- Incubators and accelerators at private and governmental research institutes;
- Corporate business incubators;
- Corporate venturing programmes;
- Other support programmes aimed at providing support to start-ups.
Support programmes must be run in Europe and have proven business expertise and a track record of launching successful start-ups. Experience or technical expertise in space or Earth Observation businesses is not a requirement.
* The Copernicus Accelerator is not an eligible support programme.
General conditions of costs
- Prototyping and research expenses;
- Equipment and supplies, particularly IT equipment (hardware or software), and other technological expenses;
- Office space;
- Expenses related to intellectual property rights;
- Advertising, promotion, communication and visits to clients;
- Website and e-mail domain; analytics services;
- Accounting, consulting or legal expertise;
- Borrowing costs;
- Employee-related costs, including recruiting expenses.
- Benefits provided by the support programme (such as office space);
- Return on capital;
- Debt and debt service charges;
- Provisions for losses or debts;
- Interest owed;
- Exchange losses;
- Deducible VAT.
- Costs paid to the support programme (e.g. office space) are not eligible as part of the grant