ESA training and technical assistance to SMEs OLD
Since 1999, ESA’s SME Unit has proposed a formal training programme for industry which gives priority to SMEs and covers a number of engineering and management processes related to space systems manufacturing.
ESA training programme
Training subjects are defined taking into account requests by SMEs and the availability of experts capable of delivering adequate training. In most cases, these courses are given by ESA experts, although external contractors are also hired by the SME Unit if ESA experts are not available.
The following courses have been given:
- Quality assurance
- Software engineering
- Space structures
- Writing a good proposal
- Materials and processes
- Payload safety
- Financing of innovative projects
- Configuration management
- Space components engineering
- Innovation: from R&D to business development
The courses comprise lectures supported by presentations, videos and photographs, followed by case studies and practical exercises.
Class sizes are limited to no more than 30 participants to obtain the maximum results and allow for good interactivity and individual attention. Priority is given to participants from SMEs and no more than two people per company can be accepted for the whole training programme, which in general includes four different training courses.
Training materials for the latest courses are available for download, as well as the training material from all the yearly session (see the right navigation bar).
Highly relevant sources of knowledge
ESA’s training courses are recognised by SMEs to be highly relevant and valuable sources of knowledge. To date all courses have been over-subscribed.
As these courses are unique and there are no similar courses available to industry, every year many non-SMEs ask to participate. Therefore, for the past few years a limited number of seats have been made available to non-SMEs.
To date, more than 1000 engineers have been able to benefit from these training courses, which usually take place at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
As these courses have been so well received, and upon request from both SMEs and other organisations, the training programmes have been ‘exported’ to a number of different countries including the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Technical support to SMEs
On request, SMEs can obtain specific technical support from ESA experts, depending on the level of ESA's workload and the availability of ESA experts. Examples of support given to SMEs include:
- software verification
- software development processes and risk analysis
- thermal analysis
In addition to the training courses organised by ESA’s SME Unit, from time to time other departments in ESA also arrange training courses for industry which could be of interest to SMEs. Typically these courses cover topics related to specific areas, for example on ISS payload safety.
Calendar for training sessions
The announcement for the next training programme organised by the SME Unit will be published on this website, the ESA Industry Portal and the ESTEC Conference Bureau website.
Last update: 9 November 2007