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Prizes Region Regional Organiser Regional Partners Winner

Besides design, development,integration, and satellite operation control the region is leader in mobile and satellite telecommunications, as well as earth observation and embedded electronic systems. Photo: © J.J. L‘Héritier / Team Côte d‘Azur

Prize 2016

The French regional winner will be able to test and validate its project thanks to:

  • A 12-month incubation programme, including office space and coaching for up to three people, at one of ESA BIC Sud France's incubator locations (valued at approx. EUR 20,000)
  • A GNSS receiver fine-tuned and tested by GUIDE by replaying a pre-recorded scenario (valued at EUR 5,000)
  • Up to one day of technical support provided by the CNES


France, more particularly the South of France, is one of the leading European regions for aeronautic, space, and telecom industries. This vast land of innovation is home to multinational companies, SMEs, renowned research centres and institutes, and internationally recognised high education. It therefore offers unique opportunities to innovative SMEs.

Regional Organiser
ESA BIC Sud France

ESA BIC Sud France is a business incubator that allows to promote entrepreneurship based on technology transfer from the spatial domain to other domains and the development of services and applications from space technologies. ESA BIC Sud France, created in 2013, is managed by Aerospace Valley in close cooperation with SAFE cluster and the French Space Agency in Toulouse (CNES). The ESA BIC Sud France project is run by structures that support the creation of innovative companies in Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, including ESTIA Entreprendre, Bordeaux Technowest, CEEI Theogone, Midi-Pyrénées Incubator, PACA-Est Incubator and Montpellier Incubator.

ESA BIC Sud France itself, provides valuable instruments for encouraging entrepreneurs to promote and exploit existing space-related patents. At the core of its strong support structure are nine partners that have demonstrated strong judgement and experience in creating innovative businesses.
Contact: esa-bic-sud-france@aerospace-valley.com

Regional Partners
Paca-Est Business Incubator

Paca-Est Business Incubator is accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research for the French departments of Alpes-Maritimes and Var. Based in Sophia-Antipolis, the incubator has also permanent offices in Nice and Toulon. Created in 2001, Paca-Est Incubator provides support for projects created in connection with French public research and offers tailored coaching, training and office facilities. Paca-Est Incubator has a broad scope and supports projects with a variety of themes, in any technological field. At the end of 2011, Paca-Est Incubator registered 495 direct jobs created by the 96 companies it has supported. Through this support, these companies have achieved a leverage ratio of 14:1, when compared to the overall cost of incubation.
More information: www.incubateurpacaest.org
Laurent Masson, Directeur Email

ESTIA Entreprendre

ESTIA Entreprendre manages an incubator devoted to technology-based activities, a BIC and a business hotel for innovative technology companies. ESTIA Entreprendre is a European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) partner and an Aquitaine Galileo Master Award ceremony co-organiser. Since 1999, it has contributed to create 121 companies and more than 800 jobs. ESTIA Entreprendre, member of the European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN), is a main component of Izarbel Technology Park and ESTIA engineering school. Its main activities are: software, computer science, robotics, embedded systems, energy, aeronautics, geo-localisation and navigation.
More information: http://entreprendre.estia.fr/fr/
Patxi Elissalde Email


CEEI-Theogone is an incubator based in the Midi-Pyrénées region which covers the department of Haute-Garonne. Since 1989, CEEI-Theogone's innovation driven strategy has allowed the creation of more than 220 still existing companies (Magellium, Artal, Artec, Aeroexperts, Imajing or Alsatis in aerospace or related sectors). The BIC owns its own computing centre to assist startupers to analyse big data coming from image analysis or biotechnologies.
More information: www.theogone.com
Frédéric Daumas Email

Bordeaux Technowest

Bordeaux Technowest is a science and technology park founded in 1989, member of EBN. It is located close to Bordeaux international airport and has access to the runways. Bordeaux Technowest manages an incubator which promotes innovative projects and supports the creation of start-ups in the field of aeronautics, defence and space. These start-ups are accompanied in their development. They are put in contact with major actors in the European aerospace industry such as Dassault, Thales or EADS. Bordeaux Technowest also encourages technology transfer through patents exploitation. Bordeaux Technowest takes advantage of a favourable environment: More than 10 000 people work for aerospace industries within the metropolitan area of Bordeaux. The realisations are plenty: business and military aircrafts, tailpipes of boosters for Ariane rockets, military missiles, propulsion systems for missiles and rockets, embedded systems for aircraft, etc.
More information: https://technowest.com/
François Baffou Email

BIC Montpellier Mediterranée Métropole (M3M)

With over 25 years' experience, the BIC Montpellier Mediterranée Métropole (M3M) is an incubator dedicated to start-ups with a strong growth potential. A huge offer with innovative tools and services is provided to start-ups to help them grow in the best condition. With 3 locations (12 300m2), Cap Alpha (Cleantehc/Biotech), Cap Omega (Digital) and MIBI (international start-up), M3M is a privileged environment to start a new enterprise. The BIC M3M is a pioneer of technologic incubators in France and in Europe. Created in 1987, it received several awards for its innovative tools and coaching programs. For 2 years, BIC M3M has been in the TOP 10 of the very selective ranking of UBI Global as one of the best incubators in the world (4th).
More information: www.montpellier-frenchtech.com/accelerator/le-bic-business-innovation-center
Stéphanie Villaret Email


Since its inception in 1961, CNES "the French Space Agency" is the public organisation responsible for elaborating and directing France's space policy within Europe. It invents space systems to meet the needs of tomorrow's society in terms of environmental research and protection, telecommunications, security and defence and exploration of the universe. CNES masters the whole spectrum of space technologies, ensuring France and Europe independent access to space. CNES remains in permanent contact with the public authorities and the scientific and industrial communities to design and carry out innovative space programmes. As a major player in Europe's space sector, CNES has a decisive role in positioning France and Europe at the forefront of the world's leaders in the space industry. CNES is involved in numerous international joint projects, thereby elevating and promoting French space policy. The ESA BIC Sud France is an essential tool of the new intellectual property policy that CNES is currently preparing.
More information: https://cnes.fr/fr
Didier Lapierre Email


GUIDE is a Geolocation Testing Laboratory. Their Centre of Excellence, resulting from a joint partnership of the key players in the French aerospace industry, aims to provide manufacturers and system integrators with instrumentation, expertise and approvals necessary to address the most demanding markets in satellite navigation. GUIDE is specially equipped* to test the toughest GNSS solutions (Hardware, Algorithms, Receivers, Systems), either by simulation, by replay in the laboratory and live testing in real situations: urban areas, roads, rail, in the water, in the air. GUIDE activity is organised around three key skills:

  • Metrology (Legal). This aims to conduct perfectly controlled tests run according to methods from recognised laboratories or from standardisation committees.
  • Geolocation by Satellite (GNSS). This discipline includes additional technologies which consolidate information from Geolocation (Inertial ...)
  • Understanding Criticality issues. This area covers integrity measurement as well as the validation of solutions which claim to conform to legal requirements.
The missions are testing services that fall into 3 categories:
  • Studying security and integrity levels inherent in Geolocation data
  • Checking the compliance of geolocation data collection methods with standards or rules in force.
  • Validating performance of GNSS equipment throughout the industrial process from design to production, including the testing of prototypes (Design & Architecture, R & D, prototyping, production).
More information: www.guide-gnss.com
Xavier LEBLAN Email

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Aerospace Valley -ESA BIC Sud France
Ms Aude Nzeh Ndong
118 route de Narbonne - CS 94244
31432 Toulouse Cedex 4
+33 (0)5 61 14 58 02

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