HENSOLDT Partners with Starburst for FCAS Start-up Accelerator

Defence Industry
A rendering of the Future Combat Mission System. Source: HENSOLDT AG

Taufkirchen/Germany. HENSOLDT Ventures and Starburst are pleased to announce the launch of their FCAS accelerator. The programme invites start-ups from NATO and allied countries to propose ideas for highly disruptive sensors. The objective of the accelerator is to create an ecosystem targeted to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) as well as start-ups to develop dual-use and defence applications for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

“Start-ups of all backgrounds and industries are invited to apply for this exceptional accelerator experience,” said Moritz Pichler, Head of HENSOLDT Ventures. HENSOLDT and Starburst aim to identify and select top-tier innovators and will provide them with tools and guidance to navigate the commercial defence ecosystem and support them in rapidly scaling up. “Whether you are a visionary disruptor in the early stages of development or a seasoned entrepreneur seeking to refine your product-market fit, this partnership invites you to be a part of a transformative journey,” added Pichler.

“Dual use technologies are key enablers to bring innovation to the defence industry. This programme will connect non-traditional players with HENSOLDT and provide a steered entry into FCAS, jointly maturing technology and fuelling growth,” explained Lukas Oberhofer, Managing Director, Starburst Germany

The Future Combat Air System is essential for European air sovereignty. The system of systems is to be developed by 2040 and includes a next generation fighter jet operating jointly with drones and remote carriers that will be connected through a combat cloud. Together with its German, French and Spanish partner companies HENSOLDT entered the development of next generation sensor solutions in the current technology development phase of the programme.

The acceleration programme focuses on five technology themes: Disruptive Sensors, Enabling AI, 3D Printed Electronics, Electronic Materials & Components and Innovative RF Technologies. After the application period, selected start-ups will be invited to participate in a bootcamp with HENSOLDT Ventures and Starburst to further develop their solutions until the end of the year. The Bootcamp will offer the start-ups the opportunity to explore a Proof-of-concept with HENSOLDT under the FCAS program, participation in dedicated workshops on topics like Business Acceleration, Dual-Use Ecosystem Discovery and Investor Landscape tailored for the defence sector as well as support by a Starburst account manager during the program. The most promising solutions will be selected for succeeding implementation projects within FCAS.

“We are excited to support HENSOLDT in building a strong ecosystem of disruptive players around the FCAS programme and to help these players in becoming more resilient over the duration of the program. At Starburst Aerospace, we firmly believe in the potential of these innovative start-ups to shape the future of the aerospace industry.” said François Chopard, Starburst Founder and CEO.