Develop your Copernicus-based business with the Copernicus Incubation Programme

Building an idea into a product or service is a daunting journey – “how do I start?”, “how do I find customers?”, “when should I pivot?”, and another myriad of questions come up in the process. There is no single recipe that works for all start-ups, and many do not dare to embark on this journey or stop on the way.

However, there are tools that can assist you in steering your business in the right direction. And if you’re building a product or service that uses Copernicus data or information – look no further than the Copernicus Incubation Programme.

With six Copernicus Sentinel satellites in orbit, the Contributing missions and in situ sensors, we’re producing over 12 TB of Earth Observation (EO) data per day. What can you do with this data? Well, almost anything – from farming (see satellites + Augmented Reality application farmAR) and monitoring bee activity, to forest fire alerts and Earth Observation social networks – the applications we’ve seen so far are numerous and very different. With more Sentinels (e.g. Sentinel-3B to be launched in the Spring of this year) and the upcoming DIAS platforms that will allow an easier access to Copernicus data, it is the right time to get started or to scale up your EO business.

About the Copernicus Incubation Programme

The Copernicus Incubation was launched by the European Commission to assist start-ups and scale-ups in using the opportunities brought by the Copernicus full, free and open data. The Programme will award 50,000 EUR equity-free funding to 20 start-ups every year to boost EO data-based businesses. The selected applicants will also have access to a new network, tools and opportunities that can help early-stage start-ups as well as already operating businesses that aim to further grow. The Copernicus Incubation Programme is implemented under contract of the European Commission, by Verhaert. Masters in Innovation, an SME based in Belgium.

Who Can Apply?

Start-ups, groups of entrepreneurs, university, research or corporate spin-offs based in the EU28, Norway or Iceland are eligible applicants. This programme requires joint applications: the start-up needs to apply together with a support programme that agrees to incubate the start-up if it receives the funding, but the start-up must be the lead applicant and sole beneficiary.

How to Apply?

There are several cut-off dates every year. The next one is 15 March 2018. Applications are submitted using the Copernicus Incubation Programme website.

For more information, please contact our Project Coordinator:  Madrid Aerospace Cluster.


MANUNET 2018 Call for proposals is open

16 million euros for transnational projects of technological cooperation in the field of advanced manufacturing. The deadline for the submission of Preliminary Proposals for the first phase until March 23, 2018 (17:00 CET).

MANUNET supports innovation-driven, close-to-market research and development projects in manufacturing. It aims to encourage cross-border value chains that emerge from advancing technologies.

During every first quarter of every new year, MANUNET opens a call for proposals to co-fund manufacturing research projects by preferably small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their strategic partners. Any short-term projects with small-medium consortia are expected. Funding is dependent on national and regional programmes. More than a decade of yearly calls has proven MANUNET as an ideal complementary programme halfway between Horizon 2020 and the national/regional funding programmes.

Regions/countries participating in the MANUNET 2018 Call are:

Spain (Asturias, Basque Country, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Navarra), The Netherlands (Gelderland, Noord-Brabant, Overijssel), Greece, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Norway, Puglia (IT), Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey and Wallonia (Belgium).

Eligible projects

All MANUNET projects should be designed on the following principle:

  • Consortia must comprise at least 2 separate legal entities from 2 different EU Member States or Associated Countries participating in the call.
  • Consortia must include at least 2 independent SMEs which can belong to the same country/region.
  • Large companies, academic research groups, universities or other public organisations may also participate according to their regional/national financing regulations, as long as there are 2 independent SMEs.
  • The composition of the consortium should be efficient in size in order to accomplish the objectives proposed. However, we expect small medium projects with no more than 4 or 5 partners.

The MANUNET application process will be in 2 stages. Proposals must be prepared and submitted electronically using the MANUNET electronic submission system (ESS) accessible at

For more information, please contact our third linked party IDConsortium.