European Space Agency (ESA)

Head of the Scaleup Programme Division

European Space Agency (ESA)

Job Description


Vacancy in the Directorate of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement.


ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


This post is classified A5 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESA Headquarters, Paris, France, or ESRIN, Frascati, Italy, or ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands





Head of the ScaleUp Programme Division in the Commercialisation Department.


If selected for this position, under the direct authority of the Head of the Commercialisation Department, you will be responsible for the implementation of the ScaleUp programme supporting entrepreneurship in space business, the commercialisation of space technologies, products, concepts and services and the scale-up of European companies on global markets, as well as access to investments and finance for the European space industry. You will be responsible for the technical, financial and strategic management of the Division and all of its activities, covering:

  • the establishment and management of the ScaleUp programme;
  • oversight of the ESA BIC network and its further development, including a closer connection with ESA projects and activities;
  • the establishment and Coordination of a network of 􀄭-labs throughout the Agency;
  • the provision of financial Advisory Services to industry, facilitating access to and connection with the investor community and financial institutions; development of innovative financial platforms to support the growth of the European space industry in cooperation with the European Investment Bank Group and the European Commission (in particular with CASSINI initiatives);
  • the management of an investor network and the development of new tools to promote private investment in space;
  • the management of the Agency’s technology transfer network of brokers and de-risking scheme, providing industry with the opportunity to find funding to bring their innovative ideas closer to market, from feasibility study and design to demonstration;
  • the complementing of spin-off with spin-in, connecting the space industry with non-space markets and industrial verticals;
  • the provision of matchmaking opportunities for space industry with space and non-space industry, as well as with the financial community, through digital platforms and the organisation of large events;
  • the identification and establishment of collaborative initiatives with promising start-ups and scale-up ventures across activities/programmes throughout the Agency together with the relevant ESA directorate representatives;
  • the set-up and management of an ESA marketplace to promote the commercial dimension of European space products and services on the global markets;
  • the set-up and management of a network of business accelerators.


The Head of Division is supported in these activities by Heads of Section, who each manage a team of technical experts. Your tasks will also include:

  • ensuring a positive and motivating working environment for the Division;
  • establishing and maintaining good working relationships and coordination with ESA programmes and other organisational bodies both within and outside the Agency;
  • supporting the coordination of commercialisation activities across the Agency;
  • contributing to the development and implementation of an ESA commercialisation policy under the authority of the Head of Department and in cooperation with the other departments of the Directorate of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement as appropriate;
  • contributing to the continuous improvement of working procedures;
  • managing the resources and workforce of the Division with accountability for all activities delegated to the Division;
  • regularly reporting in all official boards and committees, as required;
  • supporting the Head of Department and the Section Heads in anticipating and resolving sensitive or difficult situations;
  • liaising with Human Resources as required.

Technical competencies

In-depth experience in similar functions acquired in an international setting and in close cooperation with partner organisations A background in industry, Business Development, intellectual property, and innovation management, preferably in the space domain Understanding of the space economy and the New Space business (challenges and opportunities) Experience in cooperating with European financial institutions and venture capital firms Knowledge of the Agency’s industrial policy, SME policy and procurement policy Resource Management experience

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation

Operational Efficiency

Fostering Cooperation

Relationship Management

Continuous Improvement

Forward Thinking


A master’s degree in engineering or Business Management is required for this post. Higher academic qualifications or equivalent professional experience in both engineering and business areas are considered to be a distinct advantage.

Additional requirements

You should have substantial experience of managing diverse development programmes, experience with industry, a well-established network and a deep understanding of the space economy and of the challenges and opportunities relating to the commercialisation of upstream and downstream space-related programmes and, in particular, of New Space-type businesses from both a technical and economic standpoint and from the perspective of value chain stakeholders (institutional organisations, users, operators, industry, financial institutions).

The key qualities required for the post are an innovative spirit and a strategically oriented mind, a proven capacity to lead change and manage people and teams, excellent relationship management and negotiation skills and the ability to influence high-level decisions.

As a general requirement for any position at managerial level within ESA, you are expected to have:

  • proven experience of leading, motivating and developing a team;
  • strong leadership capabilities, with proven relationship management and communication skills;
  • the ability to drive your team’s performance, developing people by encouraging learning, delegating responsibility and giving regular and constructive feedback;
  • strong problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day operational challenges, together with demonstrated planning and organisational skills;
  • strong result orientation with the ability to set priorities and present practical solutions both orally and in writing;
  • the ability to anticipate problems, solve complex issues and relate situations to their context;
  • the ability to reach solution-oriented, pragmatic and timely decisions of a high standard and with a high level of integrity, as well as to support others (team members, upper management, other stakeholders) in this process.

Other Information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

For further information please visit: Professionals, What we offerand FAQ

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required.
Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.


The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests. 


At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us at


Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania,  Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.


According to the ESA Convention, the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States*. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates and secondly to external candidates from under-represented or balanced Member States*.

In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment conducted by an external background screening service. 

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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