ESAProject title: Feasibility study for the concept of a Satellite Navigation Tech Centre in the State of Hessen, Germany (Space-Incubator); and Establishment of a Satellite Navigation Incubator (CESAH) in the State of Hessen, Germany

Funding Institution: Ministry of Economy (State of Hesse)

Project duration: 15.06.2005 – 31.10.2006

Project description: 

The main goal was to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of an incubator for start-up companies offering GALILEO-based applications and services. The aim of this feasibility study was to provide ESA/ESOC and the State of Hesse with an assessment of chances and risks linked with the establishment of a so-called ‘Space-Incubator’ in Darmstadt. In the second phase, INI-Novation supported the establishment of the incubator, operating as:

  • Crosslink between existing industry in satellite navigation technology with RTD and business partners through various application platforms: prototyping, transfer, manufacture, marketing, distribution and field services, and
  • Fostering transfer of knowledge from research into entrepreneurial activities and start-up companies.

Role of INI-Novation: Consulting and technical support to establish an incubator for the satellite navigation market in the State of Hessen, Germany.

Services provided by INI-Novation:

Development of a concept describing how to build-up, to run and to promote the centre in the State of Hess with the objective of

  • Making it economically independent until 2009;
  • Illustration of the decision making process to coach, mentor and supervise incubates in the centre;
  • Provision of a mentoring and business planning concept;
  • Provision of a concept to support acquisition of financiers/investors.

Experts: Dr. Marion Mienert, Günther Möhlig, Veneta Ivanova,Wolfgang Kniejski, Roland Zahradnik, Thorsten Stürmer


In the feasibility study INI-Novation analysed the relevant markets for the establishment of such an incubator (innovation, application and incubator markets), discussed the scope of services; provided recommendations the organisation, strategy, location and the schedule for implementation; calculated the costs; proposed financing models and finally formulated recommendations. This study was completed in December 2005. Following the results, ESA and the State of Hess jointly took the decision to establish the centre in the proposed structure as Centre for Satellite Navigation Applications Hessen (CESAH) with the State of Hess, the City of Darmstadt and other public and private shareholders.

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