ESA title

Community and Partnerships

The Φ-lab open environment

The Φ-lab is an open laboratory that collaborates with people, academia and companies from all around the world, and aims to become a key influencer (by reputation and authority) for transformational innovation in the EO ecosystem.

The Φ-lab explore the space of innovation possibilities and we host people from our ecosystem all over the world to work together. We offer a large set of collaboration options for people staying with us from a few weeks or up to two years as internships, visiting academic or industry researchers, co-funded PhD’s, Postdoc researchers, and other interested individuals. You can learn more here.

The power of partnerships

We strongly believe in the power of compelling partnerships to accelerate the future of Earth Observation.

Currently we have more than 10 ongoing collaborations and every day we are fostering new strong collaborations based on truly common interests.

The Φ-lab operates as a catalyst for innovative and transformative ideas and as a bridge within EO’s ecosystem of innovative players to connect actors of Industry, Investors, and Academia and fosters entrepreneurial initiatives.

Catalyst icon
Φ-lab as a Catalyst
  • We attract EO academic and industrial researchers to generate transformative ideas
  • We are an informal but rigorous, multi-disciplinary, and collaborative environment exploiting fail fast ethos, rapidly prototyping concepts
  • We act as a facilitator to stimulate competitiveness growth and foster entrepreneurial initiatives
Bridge icon
Φ-lab as a Bridge
  • We are the bridge between European start-ups, New Space operators, Investors, ICT players, EO world leaders, ESA, Member States and European Commission
  • We connect your idea to industry, investors and academia to foster, connect, and develop a growing ecosystem of talents and capabilities across Europe
  • We bridge investment actions from ESA Member States or facilitate them from the investors market

Industrial Partnerships

Collaborating with Φ-lab and Incubed via a contract gives you privileged access to product and services enabling your development, e.g. commercial EO data, Cloud computing, and much more in the future. See below the current available.
OVHcloud service offer:

OVHcloud is the leading European cloud provider delivering public and private cloud services in 140 countries. In an agreement signed between OVHcloud and the ESA Directorate of Earth Observation in conjunction with the Directorate of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement, any company granted a contract as part of ESA Φ-lab, ESA InCubed, the ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) or ESA Spark Funding from an ESA Technology Broker, will have access to a number of benefits free of charge. These include a minimum of €10 000 (and up to €100 000) of free credits for OVHcloud products and up to 20 hours of specific support from technical experts.

Steps to apply for the voucher:
  1. Start-ups and innovative projects to be developed by non-startups are eligible to apply for OVHcloud’s offer as part of the InCubed Program.
  2. New companies applying to InCubed Program will be informed about this opportunity during the application process through The companies that are already part of the InCubed Program are informed about this opportunity by the InCubed Team.
  3. Once the company has indicated their interest in the service during the application process, they shall apply via the OVHcloud Startup Program website.
  4. They will be able to contact directly to resolve any doubts or questions about the service request.
  5. Once the request has been sent to OVHcloud, the company shall specify the request status in the outline proposal and later in the full proposal.

ICEYE delivers unmatched persistent monitoring capabilities for any location on earth. Owning the world’s largest synthetic aperture radar (SAR) constellation, the company enables objective, data-driven decisions for its customers in sectors such as insurance, security, maritime monitoring and finance. ICEYE’s data can be collected day or night, and even through cloud cover, rain, fog, and smoke.

ICEYE is also working with ESA to provide access to SAR data for scientific research and Copernicus services via the Earthnet Third Party Missions (TPM) and Copernicus Contributing Missions (CCM) programmes.

ICEYE operates the largest commercial SAR satellite constellation in the world, and is offering discounted data access to companies funded through the ESA InCubed programme.

Offer for InCubed-funded companies

  • Companies funded through the ESA InCubed programme can order ICEYE SAR data with a 30% discount, for up to 12-months from the project start date.
  • To be eligible, companies must produce a signed contract/letter from ESA which shows the contract start date.
  • The discount is offered only on standard SAR data products (see ICEYE’s SAR Data Brochure)

For more information, or to discuss your project requirements, please contact Tom Greenwood - Strategic Account Manager, Government Solutions Europe, ICEYE -

ICEYE_InCubed Brochure


Planet provides daily satellite data that helps businesses, governments, researchers and journalists understand the physical world and take action. To that end, Planet provides a web-geo platform with the highest frequency satellite data available and foundational analytics to derive insights.

The companies granted a contract with ESA InCubed and/or others within ESA Φ-lab @ESRIN will benefit from the following preferential offer:

Preferential R&D data vouchers to be used by companies developments for non-commercial purposes.

Planet technical support

Planet support for each companies using Planet data in business planning including data pricing and a licencing plan for the service commercialisation phase.

Common marketing/promotion campaigns agreed with ESA.

Common organisation of and participation in events, such as technical workshops, organised by ESA and Planet.”


Sinergise Ltd has extensive expertise in developing advanced geospatial information systems (GISs) based on cloud and web technologies. Established in 2008, the company focuses on high-impact fields such as Earth observation, making it easy for individuals, institutions and companies to retrieve actionable insights.

ESA Φ-lab-supported companies are granted by a free one-year enterprise-level subscription for Sinergise’s Sentinel Hub, an award-winning satellite imagery archiving, processing and distribution service. Located either in a cloud-based GIS or within the client environment, Sentinel Hub provides easy access to satellite data from missions such as Sentinel, Landsat, Planet, Pleiades and WorldView, and can help both space and non-space players leverage a wealth of EO-powered information.

Further details on the collaboration and how to take advantage of the Sentinel Hub offer are available in the attached brochure, or by contacting the InCubed team on .


French company Scaleway supplies cloud infrastructure and services to over 25 000 customers, including more than 700 European start-ups.

Visit Scaleway Website.


Ellipsis Drive provides a cloud-based B2B tool for ingesting, organising and accessing spatial data, with web-based visualisations and integrated use via a myriad of plug-ins, packages and applications. Based in the Netherlands, Ellipsis Drive has hosted data for over 400 customers to date and currently has around 2500 users managing and consuming spatial content from its platform.

Visit Ellipsis Drive Website.

Φ-lab community

We build and maintain the Φ-lab community via a suite of events, workshops, summer schools, camps and exploratory and demonstration activities.

The Φ-lab community leverages and develop innovative drivers such as Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, Big Data Science, unconventional platforms, new and richer sensors, edge computing, blockchain, and IoT.

We offer opportunities for sharing knowledge and experience in a physical and virtual context by building an active community around EO transformational innovation.

Please join us at The Φ-lab Community on LinkedIn

The open Research lab

One of the most powerful tools we have is our open Research lab where talents join us in many different forms, for example as:

  • Visiting Professors
  • Visiting researchers from Industry or Academia
  • Postdoc
  • Research Fellows
  • Co-funded PhD
  • Internship

They all stay with us from a few weeks up to two years to jointly develop applied research in Earth Observation.

We understand the value of your Intellectual Property Rights and we protect them via dedicated schemes.

You just need to have a compelling idea to develop together and if you are interested in becoming part of the Research lab please contact us at or find more information here.