History of ESA BIC Northern Germany

Aeronautics and space made in Bremen for more than 100 years: A long tradition of new businesses and new ideas in these sectors. A local aerospace club conducted the first experimental flights at the present Bremen airport site in the summer of 1910. In 1924, the aircraft makers Focke-Wulff-Flugzeugbau AG finally began operations on the ground. In 1961, the development Ring North (ERNO) was founded in Bremen in order to concentrate development tasks for space flight. To this day, orbital infrastructures and system components for human space flight are developed and produced at this site by Airbus DS and ArianeGroup. The Bremen Technology Park hosts the satellite manufacturer OHB.

Bremen, City of Space, welcomes your business idea!

About ESA BIC Northern Germany

The ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Northern Germany is headquartered at the BITZ, within Bremen’s largest business and technology centre for high-tech companies and startups. ESA BIC Northern Germany will bring new opportunities to the region and therefore strengthen Bremen’s aeronautics and space sector.

It complements the existing aeronautics and space innovation cluster association AVIASPACE and is supported by “Starthaus”, a financial guide for new businesses and startups.

ESA BIC Northern Germany is managed by AZO, an international networking and branding company for the European space programmes that also manages ESA BIC Bavaria with three locations in southern Germany. 

In the future, ESA BIC NG, is set to expand to the northern states of Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Berlin-Brandenburg.

AZO – Your Partner in Competition & Innovation

AZO Logo

AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen manages the ESA Incubation Centres (ESA BIC) Bavaria and Northern Germany. AZO is an international networking and branding company initiating the most important space-related innovation competitions with more than 15,000 participants, over 200 industrial & public – and 400 international stakeholders. The Masters Series, presented by AZO consists of the Galileo MastersCopernicus MastersSpace Exploration Masters, and INNOspace Masters.

Additionally, AZO organises the Copernicus Hackathons by the European Commission. AZO runs a very successful business angel network which invested more than EUR 50 million Venture Capital in 2018. Additionally, AZO manages it’s ESA BIC at three locations in Bavaria and one in Northern Germany, Bremen. This incubation programme has supported more than 162 company foundations solely in Bavaria to date.

AVIASPACE and Starthaus: Your Partners in Innovation


AVIASPACE BREMEN e.V. is an association of dedicated companies and application-oriented research institutes in and around the federal state of Bremen. This network implements the federal state of Bremen’s strategy for the aeronautics and space industries. AVIASPACE focuses on network formation, technology transfer and economic growth fostering young entrepreneurs and start-ups in particular.

Bremer Aufbau-Bank GmbH (Starthaus)

The Bremer Aufbau-Bank GmbH (BAB) is the bank for the economic development of the federal state of Bremen. BAB focuses on supporting stability, innovative capacity, sustainable growth and the attractiveness of Bremen as an industry location. Starthaus is an initiative run by BAB, the development bank for Bremen and Bremerhaven.

History of ESA BIC Bavaria

In 2004, we started the first space business incubator in the Bavarian aerospace hot spot Oberpfaffenhofen. This was possible on behalf of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and with support of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. The surrounding lakes, the view of the Alps and the proximity to Munich offered the perfect space for business innovation.
Together we recognised the economic importance of space technologies for the creation of new ventures at an early stage. The huge commercial potential of satellite systems in general as well as the European satellite navigation and Earth observation programmes have always played a key role for us from day one. Our main target groups are visionary startups, entrepreneurs and scientific employees from research institutes and universities. The brilliant business ideas of these innovators reflect the propulsion component of ESA BIC Bavaria.

Let’s make the world a better place with space products and services.

AZO Logo

AZO – Your Partner in Competition & Innovation

AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen is an international networking and branding company for the European space programmes, supporting entrepreneurship with more than 700 companies founded in Europe. Over the last 15 years, AZO has established the leading European space cluster innovation network for the satellite downstream market, while providing the necessary marketing and promotion platform, incubation and expert network, as well as regional funding programmes with the objective to increase the uptake of business cases.

AZO organises it’s “Innovation Masters Series”, the most important space-related innovation competitions: Galileo MastersCopernicus Masters, and INNOspace Masters in close cooperation with the European Commission (COM), Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology Germany (BMVI), European Space Agency (ESA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), as well as a number of major industrial partners such as Airbus, OHB, BayWa, Planet and many others.

Additionally to its ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Bavaria and Northern Germany, AZO manages the following projects:

In all competitions, AZO awards product innovations with well-known partners and established associated accelerator programs in almost all competitions.

Facts and Figures

Deal Pipeline for the European Space Eco-system 2004 – 2018: Space Exploration, Technology Transfer, Copernicus and Galileo

Prizes in 14 years
Prize Pool
Business Ideas
> 0

Acceleration & Incubation for the European Space Startup Community

Generated Jobs
Venture Capital

in 2020

> 0
Company Foundations
Total Annual Turnover

in 2020

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