11 August 2015 – ESA has signed an agreement with the £83 million (€116 million) Seraphim Space & Special Situations Fund to work alongside ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) Applications programme. The Fund will also back other space-related investment opportunities beyond ESA.
It will be launched later this year to harness the finance, expertise and market access of a range of leading space companies and institutions, helping to accelerate business growth and market opportunities for industry.
The Fund is supported by the UK Space Agency with backing from Thales Alenia Space, Airbus Defence & Space, Telespazio, Com Dev International, Avanti Communications and e2v and a growing list of other leading multinational space companies with combined annual revenues approaching €30 billion.
The concept of creating a partnership between industry, government and academia to develop, grow and exploit new space-related opportunities was conceived as part of the UK’s Space Innovation and Growth Strategy, which started in 2010.
Amnon Ginati, ESA’s Head of Integrated Applications, commented, “This initiative demonstrates the usefulness of space infrastructure for European industry and economic growth. The Fund will help us to establish strategic relationships beyond ESA’s conventional boundaries.”
“ESA provides unparalleled access to innovative space-related projects across Europe,” added Mark Boggett, Managing Director at Seraphim Space.
“Seraphim will provide ‘A-series’ risk capital and vital access to a broad range of engaged international space corporates who may become customers, partners, co-investors or even acquirers. We hope to create a virtuous circle to accelerate innovation and growth in the space market.”
Amnon Ginati also remarked, “Our analysis of 168 completed ARTES applications projects has shown that 74% demonstrated commercial potential, 54% led to operational services, and 36% are generating revenue. Nine projects received private financing from a variety of investors.”
Integrated Applications Promotion and other ARTES Applications programmes currently oversee 315 projects across a diverse range of sectors such as health, agriculture and forestry, energy, water management, transport, tourism, safety and security, media and broadcasting, and maritime.