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Image compression startup Dotphoton and ESA's GSTP Technology Programme sign commercial agreement

Zug, Switzerland, January 21st, 2020 –
Image compression startup Dotphoton and ESA's GSTP Technology Programme sign commercial agreement

Eugenia Balysheva,

Swiss start-up Dotphoton and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a contract to test Dotphoton's efficient information-preserving image compression technology for use in space applications.

The contract is signed with ESA's GSTP (General Support Technology Programme) programme, which supports technology developments for ESA's future missions, making sure the right technology is available at the right maturity at the right time. The aim of the project is to validate the integration of Dotphoton's compression technology for space applications. This contract was signed with the coordination support of the Swiss Space Office.

Dotphoton's software provides raw image data compression with guaranteed raw image quality and fidelity preservation. The output data is particularly suitable for the latest generation of machine vision and AI image processing algorithms, which is particularly important in the context of permanently growing space image data. Dotphoton's products allow to save a factor of 5–10 in storage space and network bandwidth, as well as the associated time, power and costs.

"After successful commercial implementations of Dotphoton's software in the biotech industry, we are looking forward to exploring the potential of our technology for space data. And we are very proud to start the collaboration with such a renowned partner as ESA," says Dotphoton's CEO, Eugenia Balysheva.

The concrete purpose of this GSTP activity, which is being run under GSTP's Element 1, Develop, is to bring Dotphoton's software solution to a higher maturity level and to efficiently explore two possible paths towards a performant hardware implementation, namely based on Vision Processing Unit (VPU) or Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology.

The final product, which will be co-developed by Dotphoton and ESA, could help ESA's optical missions to reduce costs in the processing of raw image data and in satellite-to-ground image transmission, one of the important cost drivers for all modern missions.


Swiss deep tech startup specialised on software solutions for raw image compression for critical applications. Dotphoton uses insights from quantum physics to provide high compression ratios whilst still preserving original quality and image fidelity. Dotphoton's products are already being used by biomedical camera manufacturers and laboratories, and the core technology has been validated by major Swiss research centres.

European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe's gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA's General Support Technology Programme

The development of technology – making new things to do new things – is central to ESA's existence. The Agency spends around 8% of its budget on direct research and development, through a variety of programmes covering various different inventions, each leading activities based on their technical maturity or their field. GSTP, the General Support Technology Programme, is an optional programme that every single one of ESA's participating states chooses to support. It takes previously proven innovations through to succeeding stages of engineering, finally evolving fully-tested hardware ready for adoption by future missions.


Eugenia Balysheva
Dotphoton AG
+41 0 41 552 50 00