The director of the Galician Innovation Agency (GAIN), Patricia Argerey, has visited Alén Space to check the results of the Ignicia Program in the company. The program, launched by Xunta de Galicia and Fundación Barrié, aims to promote the transfer of knowledge from R+D+i centres to SMEs and to boost the competitiveness of the Galician economy.
The visit coincided with the passage over Galicia of the Lume-1 nanosatellite, designed by the Alén Space team within the University of Vigo. The entire delegation attended the download of information from the nanosatellite directly to the ground station.
Argerey highlighted the growth of the company since it was born with just 5 workers in its professional team, and currently, it aspires to close 2021 with 25 employees and a turnover of more than a million euros.
In addition, the director of GAIN pointed out that the entry of private capital was a key factor in this expansion, as one of the priority actions carried out by the project’s promoter team during the Ignicia Program. This financing came through the BeAble Capital fund and CDTI within the Invierte Program, with a total budget of one million euros.
Along with the support received through the Ignicia’s aid line to industrialise the nanosatellites solution, start its commercial activity, and carry out the transfer of technology from the University of Vigo to the new company, Alén Space was the beneficiary of more initiatives of the Galician Government to boost its growth. It should be noted the InnovaPeme 2019 Program for the development of an innovation plan for the company, and the Reacciona grant, oriented to promote the technological modernisation of Galicia’s business fabric, as well as the participation in ViaGalicia, promoted by Xunta de Galicia and Vigo’s Free Zone Consortium.
Among other projects, Alén Space collaborates with the University of Brasilia for the development of CubeSat 1U; with Sateliot for the design, manufacture and operation of the TOTEM payload of the first nanosatellite of its future IoT communications constellation under a 5G architecture; with the University of Oviedo and Vigo in the RoboCrane project for exploring lunar caves; with Egatel and the Galician Telecommunications Technology Centre (Gradiant) to digitalize the naval sector through the SHIPMATE project; with the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) for the Inter-satellite Link (ISL) system of the ANSER mission to monitor the quality of water in reservoirs; and with the Indonesian Space Agency (LAPAN) for the provision of communication payloads.
In this context, Patricia Argerey pointed out how important the contribution that the company makes is to a market segment as specialised as New Space and highlighted Galicia’s commitment to the aerospace sector since 2014.
During the visit, the director of Gain also wanted to highlight the impact of the Ignicia Program, innovative in Spain, and launched in the Galician market back in 2016. With an investment of 7 million euros, the first two calls enabled the development of 16 projects with more than 120 workers involved. Likewise, they allowed the constitution of 8 spin-offs that employ more than 50 people, and the completion of a licence transfer to the industry. In all, there are 9 projects already finished that generate a return for the local administration.
This third edition of Ignicia is currently underway. Seven projects have been selected and are now preparing their development and commercialisation plan as a preliminary step to formalise the investment. The total budget requested for these initiatives amount to more than 2.8 million euros, which implies around 400,000 euros on average per proposal with an estimated duration of two years.