CASSINI is the European Commission new initiative to support innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SME’s in the space industry, including New Space, during 2021-2027. The initiative is open to all areas of the EU Space Programme, and covers both upstream (i.e. nanosats, launchers, etc. and downstream (i.e. products/services enabled by space data, etc.). CASSINI includes a €1 billion EU seeds and growth fund, as well as hackathons and mentoring, prizes, a business accelerator, partnering and matchmaking.
Cassini isn’t just a fund, or a competition, it is in fact many things, offering multiple pathways to becoming a space entrepreneur. Your options include:
CASSINI Hackathons & Mentoring
Europe-wide CASSINI Hackathons are a major opportunity to develop ideas for a digital application building on space data, including satellite images and positioning services. They are particularly addressed to students, graduates, researchers and teams/start-ups in their very early stages. Each hackathon takes place simultaneously in ten European cities and the local organisers will offer everything you need to form a great team, learn about accessing space data, identify customer needs, and start working on your digital solution.
4th Cassini Hackathon in November 2022
We are looking for determined hackers with a passion for developing sustainable solutions. No previous space experience is required. Choose a challenge that interests you, and leverage EU space technologies contribute to the future of finance, insurance, and investments! Click here for all info!
Europe-wide networking for new business opportunities based on a series of matchmaking events for start-ups and SMEs starting in 2022. By participating in matchmaking events, start-ups and SMEs will expand their professional networks and find new product development partners, customers, and investors. Each event will offer opportunities for both industrial partnering with large corporations and matchmaking with investors. The thematic events will each year cover different business areas and have a good geographic coverage throughout Europe, and address different value chains.
CASSINI Prizes and Competitions
This CASSINI initiative contains a space competition called CASSINI MyEUSpace competition and CASSINI Prizes. MyEUSpace competition aims to support the development of innovative commercial solutions – such as mobile apps or hardware-based solutions – that are leveraging EU Space data from the Galileo positioning system and Copernicus Earth Observation images. It offers the chance to win prizes from a €1 million prize pool, and get qualified mentoring to develop digital application or physical product.
CASSINI Prizes aim to develop close-to-market digital applications based on European space data, including satellite images, positioning services and other sources, and to demonstrate solutions to tackle global environmental and societal challenges. The prizes require both state-of-the-art technology and a convincing business concept. The best proposals will present their prototypes on the spot and get the chance to compete for a sizeable monetary prize.
CASSINI Access to finance
Enabling many more space companies to raise risk capital – that is the objective of the CASSINI Facility. It provides capital to VC funds to be invested into EU-based companies developing and marketing space technology and digital services using space data. While new entrants in the space sector previously found it challenging to raise capital, CASSINI Facility will be a game-changer.
CASSINI In-Orbit Demonstration
To get market validation, space technology component, product or system needs to be tested in real space conditions and obtain flight heritage. This is the objective of the European Union’s In-Orbit Demonstration and Validation (IOD/IOV).
In-Orbit Demonstration and Validation (IOD/IOV) is a Union initiative enabling new technologies to be tested in orbit by providing aggregation, if needed, launch services and operations. This initiative enables to give flight heritage.
The IOD/IOV European initiative has several expected benefits:
- The global competitiveness of the European space sector: IOD/IOV allows technologies to be effectively tested in orbit, while reducing the time it would otherwise take to bring them to market. In doing so, the IOD/IOV initiative contributes to space entrepreneurship.
- EU non-dependence: IOD/IOV supports EU non-dependence by providing a cost-effective services based on EU solutions both for the spacecraft and for the launch services.
- A European Higher Education system: IOD/IOV aims to provide a generation of European engineers with hands-on experience in real-world space programmes.