Croatian Space Report 2017 – The Foundations

Thursday, Jan 04, 2018 - Posted by Mirta Medanic

Amphinicy has been delivering complex software solutions and products to the global satellite market for almost two decades. Yet Croatia is at its beginnings in the terms of space activities. And these are good news!
Let’s toast to some remarkable achievements we have accomplished during the year that is behind! In April 2017, Amphinicy turned 18 years since its foundation . We celebrated the big day as we always do – modestly and cheerfully at our Zagreb Office premises. To refresh our memory, Amphinicy has started its operations in 1999 under the name Euro
Labourers, as a spin-off from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb. The first projects the company worked on were with Astra, a global satellite operator from Luxembourg. The century turned, two companies changed their names. Amphinicy has continued the good cooperation with SES and steadily increased its knowledge base and portfolio by working with other companies such as iDirect , Newtec and O3b, to name a few. All in all, we have delivered over 100 tailor-made projects to the satellite market, developed four satellite products and opened a branch office in Luxembourg.
Many reasons to celebrate!

In contrast to Amphinicy, space activities in Croatia are at their beginnings. Besides several companies, research institutes and technical universities who are operating independently, there hasn’t been a comprehensive national space program in the country to this date. This might change in the coming years due to two key events that took place last year.

The first event was the formation of Adriatic Aerospace Association (A3) in June 2017 in
Zagreb. Adriatic Aerospace Association is a partnership of science and commercial technology participants. The primary objective of the association is to foster science and technology cooperation in the aerospace sector in Croatia and Adriatic region. Some of the activities are providing domain expertise, supporting the establishment of industry partnerships, finding investors and initiating new projects. Amphinicy is an active member of the association from its beginnings and is going to bring satellite and software expertise to the collaboration projects.

Founding Assembly of the AAA
Adriatic Aerospace Association Founding Assembly, 18th December 2017, The Ruđer Bošković Institute

The second key event of 2017 was the official launch of the country’s accession process with European Space Agency (ESA) . In November 2017, Croatian government adopted a decision on the initiation of the procedure for concluding an agreement on space cooperation with ESA. The cooperation with ESA could be very beneficial to companies like Amphinicy. With our broad and deep expertise in the satellite and space industry and our products: Blink, Monica, SatScout and TRIDots, we could already bid for various ESA tenders and programmes.
However, this is just a small fraction of the available options. Since 2008, ESA has invested more than €42 billion in space programmes and over €190 million in over 300 business application projects. Their business network counts over 500 companies from 22-member states coming from a vast variety of markets. Let me try to count all of them: energy, aviation, environmental resources management, safety and security, food and agriculture, media and broadcasting, infrastructure and smart cities, finances, investments, insurance, health and tourism. The list is long! Besides companies, the business opportunities are opened to any organisation, research institute, public body or non-governmental organisation, even for start-ups!

To get around the ESA’s space, the agency established the Industry Portal with the access to useful educational tools, informative materials and guidelines. To browse tenders, access the materials and make an application there is a comprehensive information system, the EMITS. There will be a lot of work – when are we starting?
Following these events, a significant change in the space sector in the country may happen in the following years. Tight cooperation between all participants, connecting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with business and social studies as well as the involvement of a young generation of professionals will be the key to success . We are excited and proud to have a privilege to be a part of it!

Meteo image of the Adriatic sea
The Adriatic Sea and the region captured by the weather satellite Meteor M2 and processed in Blink, an ultra-fast software-based satellite telemetry analyser developed by Amphinicy