The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), in partnership with European Space Agency (ESA), will invest in the creation of an incubator for young companies developing technologies and services focused "in space".

FCT wants to invest in the growth of the aerospace sector in Portugal. And, to achieve this goal, it will invest in creating an incubator for startups during the second quarter of the year, as revealed on May 26 by the organization vice president, Pedro Carneiro.

According to Jornal de Negócios, the aerospace industry in Portugal has generated approximately EUR 100 million over the last decade, with the contribution of companies like Critical Software and Efacec.

The incubator will be developed in partnership with ESA, further strengthening the connection of the european organism with portuguese companies. "We have been successful in space", said Pedro Carneiro, who added that Portugal had the ability of creating a scientific community that already uses its skills in other areas besides space. "We want to open an ESA incubator to provide opportunities in this area", he added.

Despite the announced investment, the president of Proespaço, which gathers 12 portuguese companies operating in the aerospace market and represents about 90% of the domestic market, said that "an incubator serves no purpose". António Neto da Silva "looks favourably" at FCT initiatives but noted that the organization "must fulfill its function of informing the companies already working".

"It's a joke from the government", said the president of Proespaço, reminding that, last year, none of the 12 companies represented by Proespaço improved its revenues, compared to 2012.

The president of ISQ, Manuel Alves da Cruz, also warned about the need of "economic growth" for portuguese aerospace industry.

Another company operating in this segment, Tekever, has recently signed an agreement with a chinese entity to provide technology for micro-satellites. In the end of March, the opening of a competence center in Portugal by D-Orbit was also confirmed.

Source: sapo.pt