Partners for Space Exploration
ESA has completed the first round for launching strategic partnerships with the private sector.
Following the success met by the Call for Ideas launched in March 2015, ESA is open to continue receiving ideas from the space or non-space private sector for concluding partnerships with commercial partners.
Visit EMITS to access the Call for Ideas and learn more about how ESA is trying to explore new paths for space exploration.
If you have any comments or proposals, you can also email us at email@example.com
ESA completed the process for launching strategic partnerships with the private sector after a comprehensive consultation phase.
The Agency and eight private partners have concurred on their mutual interest on projects that will be carried forward through a Partnership Pilot Phase. The goal of this pilot phase is to assess more thoroughly the feasibility and commercial viability of each project in a partnership effort and to mature the partnership model.
“Commercial partnership will play a growing role in the exciting ESA vision for space exploration,” said David Parker, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration.
“ESA intends to stimulate private sector engagement in space exploration and foster innovative and inspiring approaches for ISS services and utilisation and future ESA missions.”
The first publicised partnership pilot project is Bartolomeo, signed with Airbus DS at ILA, the German Air Show in Berlin on 2 June 2016. Bartolomeo provides fast, cost-efficient and reliable access to the Space Station for private and institutional users on commercial terms.
ESA also concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Belgian company Space Application Services (SAS) regarding Commercial Experiment Cubes on the Columbus Laboratory. The partnership would consist of bartering Columbus resources in exchange for services, with no exchange of funds.
SSTL and GES are working in partnership with ESA in a pilot phase activity to develop commercial lunar communication services starting with a data relay spacecraft, to be sent to the Moon in the 2019-2020 timeframe.
ESA has also signed a MoU with OHB and Sierra Nevada Corporation on the utilisation by Europe of the cargo version of Dream Chaser.
The way forward
Commercial partnerships represent a concrete opportunity to foster growth and competitiveness of the European industrial sector and. This initiative responds to the “Resolution on ESA evolution” adopted during the 2014 Council at Ministerial Level calling for an evolution of the relationship between ESA and industry.
Commercial partnerships with the private sector will be an aspect of the European Space Exploration Envelope Programme proposed for decision at the next Council meeting at Ministerial level at the end of 2016.
ESA will address this topic in one of the sessions of its forthcoming event Space4Inspiration, at the Science Museum in London on 14–15 September 2016.
Last update: 29 August 2016