Launch Provider Isar Aerospace Wins European Commission’s 10 Million Euros EIC Horizon Prize

Spectrum rocket (Credit Isar Aerospace)
  • Isar Aerospace wins European Commission’s EIC Horizon Prize “Low-Cost Space Launch” for its launch service solution for independent space access and receives 10 million euros
  • Isar Aerospace solidifies its position as Europe’s leading microlauncher company
  • The prize marks an important moment in Europe’s path to achieving sovereignty in space

Munich, Brussels, 25 January 2022 (Isar Aerospace PR) – Isar Aerospace, the leading European launch service provider focusing on small and medium satellite deployment, announced today that it has won the European Commission’s EIC Horizon Prize “Low-Cost Space Launch”, receiving 10 million euros in prize money. The European Commission’s award was given to Isar Aerospace for its launch service solution using ‘Spectrum’, a two-stage launch vehicle that offers flexible and cost-efficient access to space for small and medium-sized satellites and constellations and drives the quest for European sovereignty in space.

The formal prize announcement was made during the 14th European Space Conference in Brussels today, 25 January 2022, with European Commissioner Thierry Breton handing over a cheque of 10 million euros to Daniel Metzler, CEO and Co-Founder of Isar Aerospace, who stated: “I am beyond proud! Winning the EIC Horizon Prize is not only a great success for the Isar Aerospace team and a proof of what we have already achieved, but it is also a vote of trust by the European Commission.”

The European Commission’s EIC Horizon Prize “Low-Cost Space Launch” is a funding opportunity in the frame of the Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Programme under the European Innovation Council Pilot, which aims to identify and support breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations that create new markets and can be scaled up internationally. Isar Aerospace received the highest cumulative score for the award criteria of “excellence, technical implementation, and service sustainability of the solution”. With its mature solution, the company prevailed over the other two nominated finalists. The prize money of 10 million euros will be used to further invest in research and development capabilities as well as in test and launch infrastructure.

Solidifying Isar Aerospace’s position as Europe’s leading microlauncher company

Since its founding in 2018, Isar Aerospace has raised private funding of more than 150 million euros and attracted both commercial and institutional customers. The production of Spectrum is on track: the company has completed the build-up of its in-house, vertically integrated manufacturing facility and it is now working on achieving testing milestones leading towards the first test flight, which is planned for the end of 2022. This prize confirms Isar Aerospace to be the leading privately funded European launch service provider focusing on small and medium satellite deployment and recognizes its commercial and innovation driven solution. Furthermore, this award supports the company in driving the change in the European launch industry and helps to shape the future of the ecosystem.

Prize marks an important moment in Europe’s path to achieving sovereignty in space

Technology in space such as satellite-based communication networks and earth observation used to provide crucial insights to tackling climate change are an essential backbone for all technologies on earth, both in the commercial sphere and in our daily lives. The competitiveness and autonomy of Europe’s economy strongly depends on being able to independently place satellites and satellite constellations into Earth’s orbits. European launch technology thus is a fundamental part of Europe’s technological sovereignty.

“Europe is a big part of Isar Aerospace’s DNA – more than 90% of our investors are European and about 90% of our development, production and supply chain lies within the EU. We are proud to be part of the European ecosystem, but we are also convinced that Europe needs to further promote competition and commercialization to achieve sovereign and flexible launch access, strengthen innovative technologies and reduce its dependency on foreign infrastructure and technologies. It is therefore our joint task to actively shape Europe’s space industry to achieve the EU’s ambitious space agenda and actively shape the global space industry,” says Daniel Metzler, CEO of Isar Aerospace.

“On behalf of the German Government, I want to congratulate the entire Isar Aerospace team for winning the EIC Horizon price “Low-Cost Space Launch”. Advanced technologies in space are key for monitoring and tracking climate change and enable important applications like earth observation. Innovative approaches like new public procurement and this Prize are important elements for a dynamic European Space ecosystem and the way forward to provide sovereign, flexible and highly cost-efficient access to space in Europe,” says Dr. Anna Christmann, Coordinator for Aerospace Policy at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

The prize will allow Isar Aerospace to continue driving the progress of the European launch industry, spurring innovation and the independent future of European space.

“Congratulations to Isar Aerospace Technologies the winner of the EIC Horizon prize for low cost space launch, which will stimulate European leadership in this deep tech sector. Support for space research and innovation will be further strengthened through Horizon Europe to boost excellence and leadership throughout Europe,” says Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.

“This prize shows the importance of innovation for space technology. It represents a step ahead in our ambition to stimulate innovation and reinforce an autonomous access to space. Their solution will greatly contribute to supporting our European ambitions in space for an autonomous, reliable and cost-effective access to space,” says Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market.

More information

Link to official press release of the European Commission

About Isar Aerospace

Isar Aerospace, based in Ottobrunn/Munich, develops and builds launch vehicles for transporting small and medium-sized satellites as well as satellite constellations into Earth’s orbit. The company was founded in 2018 by Daniel Metzler, Josef Fleischmann, and Markus Brandl. Since then, it has grown to more than 220 employees from more than 40 nations with many years of hands-on rocket know-how as well as experience within other high-tech industries. The company is privately financed by former SpaceX VP Bulent Altan as well as leading investors including Airbus Ventures, Apeiron, Earlybird, HV Capital, Lakestar, Lombard Odier, Porsche SE, UVC Partners, and Vsquared Ventures.

More information via: https://www.isaraerospace.com/