ActInSpace Organizers



Founded in 1961, the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales is the government agency responsible for shaping and implementing France’s space policy in Europe. Its task is to invent the space systems of the future, bring space technologies to maturity and guarantee France’s independent access to space. It conceives and executes space programmes with its partners in the scientific community and industry, and is closely involved in many international cooperation programmes—the key to any far-reaching space policy.

The agency’s more-than 2,400-strong workforce constitutes an exceptional pool of talent, with some 1,800 engineers and executives, 35% of whom are women.

Through its ability to innovate and its forward-looking vision, CNES is helping to foster new technologies that will benefit society as a whole, focusing on 5 major strategic areas: Ariane, Sciences, Observation, Telecommunications, and Defence.

ActInSpace® was initiated by the CNES and the launch of this third edition gave them the opportunity to affirm their commitment to the values underlying the event. The role of the CNES in ActInSpace® is to oversee its implementation worldwide in close partnership with the organisers. It is the decision-maker for the event’s global communication plan, the rules of the competition and the co-ordinator for the preparation of the challenges.



The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA space solutions is a ‘one-stop shop’ for re-purposing space technology. By exploiting space know-how, facilitating and inspiring its use in new applications and sharing this knowledge we bring ‘space back down to Earth’. At the heart of this is an agile and specialist transfer and incubation network, conecting and enabling bussinesses and entrepreneurs across Europe.

ESA Space solutions' role in ActInSpace® is to promote the contest's international dimension, opening up opportunities for using space technologies and data for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship accross Europe and worldwide. ESA has been involved in ActInSpace® since its 2nd edition in 2016.

ESA BIC Sud France

ESA BIC Sud France

The ESA BIC Sud France opened in 2013 and is managed by Aerospace Valley. The center is located in three regions in the south of the France (Nouvelle Aquitaine, Occitanie, PACA), offering entrepreneurs support and technical expertise for the the creation of innovative start-ups. ESA BIC Sud France is composed of the following members providing the best support to business creators:

  • Six support structure: ESTIA Entreprendre, Bordeaux Technowest, CEEI Théogone, Midi-Pyrénées Incubator, BIC Montpellier Mediterannée Metropole and PACA-Est Incubator
  • Two aerospace competitiveness clusters: Aerospace Valley and Safe
  • The French Space Agency : CNES

ESA BIC Sud France, led by Aerospace Valley is in charge of the operational execution of ActInSpace®.

ActInSpace® is an international innovation contest initiated by the French Space Agency (CNES) uniting over 60 cities across 5 continents. ActInSpace® is supported by ESA and the ESA Business Incubation Centres network. ESA BIC Sud France, led by Aerospace Valley, has been mandated by the CNES and ESA is in charge of the operational execution of ActInSpace® 3rd edition.

By taking part in ActInSpace®, you’ll be taking part in a truly international event bringing together entrepreneurs, students, job seekers, developers and creatives worldwide. For 24 hours, teams come together to work on real-life challenges alongside business mentors and technical experts and to imagine and design innovative services and products that find every day uses for space technologies or data.

And that’s just the beginning! The winning teams will proceed to the national and international finals to present their project to an international jury of experts on technology transfer and business development. All teams with promising projects will go on to receive guidance from ESA’s Business Incubation Centres and partner incubators to accelerate their project and turn their idea into a real company.

What are ActInSpace® key goals?

  • We want to make people dream bigger and develop their entrepreneurial spirit, especially young people
  • We aspire to show people just how amazing the space sector is and how it can positively impact on our daily life
  • We're driven to demonstrate the social-economic potential of the space sector and its ability to boost startup creation
  • We look to build a bridge between civil society and space agencies to make patent licensing more accessible
  • We believe in #WomenInSpace and want to encourage women to start technical companies
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