The Significance of the IPN Incubator’s Space-Dedicated Hub


The Significance of the IPN Incubator’s Space-Dedicated Hub

In a significant leap towards fostering innovation and propelling the growth of space-related startups, IPN Incubator proudly opened the doors of its state-of-the-art incubation building dedicated exclusively to the space sector. 

During ESA Space Solutions 9th anniversary, 30th November 2023, we hosted a first formal visit to our new space incubator. This new facility, equipped with 15 office spaces, a multifunctional meeting space, and a rooftop offering a breathtaking 360º view, serves as a beacon for emerging space and space-related enterprises, positioning IPN as a leader in nurturing groundbreaking ventures.

A Groundbreaking Initiative

The decision to establish a dedicated incubator for space and space-related companies underscores IPN’s commitment to providing a specialised environment tailored to their unique needs and challenges. By concentrating resources and expertise in a single hub, IPN aims to create a synergy that accelerates the development of innovative solutions and technologies within the space sector and space-down-to-earth applications. Paulo Santos, the Executive Director of IPN Incubator states: 

I am thrilled and immensely proud with the start of operations of the IPN’s Space Incubator after 10 years of dedicated cooperation with ESA entrepreneurship programs. This milestone marks a significant achievement in our journey towards fostering innovation and advancing the space industry.

 Throughout the years, our collaboration with ESA has been instrumental in nurturing talent, fostering groundbreaking ideas, and propelling aspiring entrepreneurs towards success in the space sector. The culmination of this partnership with the establishment of the IPN’s Space Incubator is a testament to our commitment to supporting and empowering the next generation of space innovators.

As we embark on this new chapter, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have contributed to this endeavour. Together, we have laid the foundation for a thriving ecosystem where creativity, collaboration, and innovation flourish. I am excited about the endless possibilities that lie ahead and confident that the IPN’s Space Incubator will serve as a launchpad for countless transformative ideas and ventures in the realm of space exploration.

I’m really embraced by the exciting journey ahead and the boundless opportunities that await us as we continue to push the boundaries of innovation in the space industry. 

ESA Space Solutions Portugal at the Heart of Innovation

An integral part of this initiative is the presence of the ESA Space Solutions Portugal team, including the ESA Ambassador Portugal, on the ground floor of the incubation building. This strategic placement ensures a direct link between startups and the European Space Agency Commercialization Gateway programmes, facilitating collaboration, mentorship, and access to valuable resources. The ESA team’s proximity enhances the incubation experience, offering startups unparalleled support and opportunities for growth.

The Dynamic Ecosystem: Ethiack, Neuraspace, Spotlite, Deimos and Teromovigo

Already thriving within the walls of the space-dedicated incubator are five pioneering startups: Ethiack, Neuraspace, Spotlite, Deimos and Teromovigo. These companies exemplify the diversity and innovation that characterise our space community, unveiling the potential of space technology to address a wide range of challenges on Earth and in space!

Here is what do these companies say about the new infrastructure:


Ethiack is pushing the boundaries of proactive cybersecurity for critical sectors. Our mission is to protect technology and digital transformation through testing. Space is within the defence industry, and if we think about how many applications and sectors are nowadays dependent on space, we rapidly conclude that there is nothing more critical than space. A cyberattack on space infrastructure could have a severe impact on several sectors at the same time, affecting our daily operations. It could be chaotic! The interconnection between Space and Earth activities will only get deeper in the following years. So, being part of ESA Space Solutions Ecosystem, and near-space innovation makes total sense to accomplish our mission and preventing the chaos.


Being in an incubator specialized in the space sector, such as the IPN incubator, offers several significant advantages:

Collaborative Environment & Partnership Opportunities: Focused on space innovation, the incubator fosters collaboration and idea-sharing among companies facing similar challenges.  The access to strategic collaborations within the space industry accelerates growth and innovation.

A very complete set of specialized support services: like accounting services specially designed for startups that ensures compliance and optimizes tax efficiency in the complex aerospace industry to the assistance in accessing investment and R&D incentives that enhances funding opportunities through investor connections and proposal development for grants opportunities.


Being in an Incubator dedicated to the space allows you to obtain a level of specialized support, in the most diverse areas, far beyond what could be achieved in an incubator of another nature, also creating an ecosystem rich in opportunities for networking and exchanging experiences.


The advantage of being in an incubator dedicated solely to Space is, naturally, the proximity to other companies that are working in the same area. At events organized by IPN, such as the ESA Space Solutions PT anniversary, it is possible to talk about common opportunities and problems. It also attracts other companies working in this sector, such as GeoSAT Space, because they can find all their customers in one space.

360º View Rooftop: Inspiring Innovation from Every Angle

The rooftop, offering a panoramic 360º view, is not just a picturesque addition but a symbol of the limitless possibilities that the space industry holds. This space serves as a platform for events, gatherings, and moments of inspiration, creating a setting where entrepreneurs can dream big while surrounded by the vast potential that space offers.

Visibility for the Space Community

By concentrating space and space-related startups in a dedicated incubator, IPN is actively contributing to the visibility of Portugal’s space community. This focused approach attracts attention from investors, corporations, and industry leaders, creating a ripple effect that enhances the overall reputation of the space sector within the country. The IPN space incubator’s strategic location in Coimbra, a region renowned for its rich scientific heritage and entrepreneurial dynamism, further enhances its value as a hub for space innovation. The proximity to leading research institutions and technology companies creates fertile ground for the cross-pollination of ideas and the development of groundbreaking solutions.

Beyond its tangible benefits for space startups, the incubator serves as a beacon of visibility for Portugal’s space community. It showcases the nation’s commitment to innovation and its ability to nurture cutting-edge space technology companies. This recognition attracts global attention and opens doors to new opportunities for collaboration and partnership.

Wrapping up, Jorge Pimenta, the Coordinator of ESA Space Solutions Portugal, says that “The opening of IPN Incubator’s space-dedicated hub marks a significant milestone in the journey of Portugal’s space ecosystem. This initiative not only provides startups with the resources and support they need to thrive but also positions IPN as a central player in shaping the future of space exploration. As the ESA Space Solutions Portugal team, including the ESA BIC, the ESA Ambassador, and the ESA Technology Broker, collaborates with innovative startups, the incubation building becomes a hub of creativity, collaboration, and inspiration, with a transformative impact far beyond the walls of the incubator! Our doors are open to your visit.”

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