ESA title

Additional application information

This page contains additional information on how to apply to the InCubed programme. Please read the How to apply and What we are looking for pages first.

Two development cycles

There are two development cycles available within InCubed and you may apply for either one or both of the following cycles. The aim of each cycle is to reach a minimum viable product. Entry depends on the maturity of the development being proposed:

  • The De-risking Cycle: This cycle results in a credible technical concept with identified commercial customers that show tangible interest and a robust product development roadmap. Typically, developments in this cycle are less mature and require support to reach a credible commercial product/service.
  • The Product Development Cycle: This cycle results in a credible product or service that can be shown to be commercially viable without any further public funding. Typically, developments in this cycle are more mature.

It is possible to move from one cycle to another as the development matures or if the development is mature enough it can enter the product development cycle directly.

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Each cycle may have different levels of co-funding, depending on the supporting member state or target readiness level (e.g. Technology Readiness Level or TRL and Application Service Readiness Level or ASRL). You can potentially apply for both cycles. They can overlap as long as this is clearly shown. National delegations may, however, only decide to support one cycle at a time. ESA will assess during your application if the selected cycles are appropriate.

InCubed can also support further roll out if applicable. Additional funding and financing outside of the InCubed programme may also be sought to scale the concept internationally or roll out additional elements (e.g. constellations, networks, architectures).

Funding options and conditions

ESA can support up to 80% of the total costs as detailed in the table below:

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The required objectives per development cycles and segments shall be respected.

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The Announcement of Partnership Opportunity is published on ESA-STAR PUBLICATIONS, under Open Invitations to Tender reference AO10452 in the “ESA Tender Actions”. In order to obtain co-funding from ESA, your company will need to be registered on our ESA-STAR system.

Please note: The documents on ESA-STAR take precedence in case of any discrepancies. The consultation of the official documentation on ESA-STAR related to the Announcement of Partnership (APO) is only possible for duly registered users.

Participating Member States

Please note that co-funding is only available to companies that reside in the participating ESA Member States that have subscribed to InCubed. A list of participating Member States and important information is provided below.

Austria Flag Austria
Belgium Flag Belgium
Czech Republic Flag Czech Republic
Denmark Flag Denmark*
Estonia Flag Estonia
Finland Flag Finland
Germany Flag Germany
Greece Flag Greece
Ireland Flag Ireland
Italy Flag Italy
Luxembourg Flag Luxembourg
Netherlands Flag Netherlands
Norway Flag Norway
Portugal Flag Portugal
Romania Flag Romania
Spain Flag Spain*
Sweden Flag Sweden*
United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom*

* Member States subscribed to the InCubed pilot phase. These Member States can increase their contribution to co-fund further activities at any time.

The size and nature of any potential co-funding is subject to authorisation from the supporting national delegation(s). To begin with, ESA just needs an email of support, but later a Letter of Authorisation from the relevant national delegation(s) will be needed.

Some national delegation(s) have specific procedures to obtain the letter of authorisation – so please factor in the time that this may take. More details for each country that deviates from the standard InCubed process can be found here.

The InCubed Process

Pitch your idea arw How to apply infographic