ITT encourages SME participation to ESA's technology programmes
An invitation to tender (ITT) just issued calls for leading edge technologies for ESA's future space programmes. The ITT provides an opportunity both for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) already involved in the space field and for SMEs not yet active with ESA to propose innovative solutions with advanced technologies from non-space fields.
The ITT is part of ESA's 'Leading Edge Technology for SMEs' programme (LET-SME) conceived as a spin-in programme, aiming at fostering the participation of smaller companies to ESA technology programmes.
"Indeed, innovative technologies developed by high-tech SMEs active in other fields than space are very often useful for the renewal of 'space technology' and the fulfilment of a certain number of challenges of space applications and missions," says Nora Bougharouat, ESA's SME Initiative Manager.
"Our LET-SME programme gives the SMEs an opportunity to carry out feasibility studies or preliminary validations demonstrating application of their technologies, products or procedures to the solution of technical problems encountered in space programmes."
The selected topics that proposals must address are the following:
- Engineering tool for qualification of optical coatings
- Alternative rigidisation method for inflatable structures
- Low-power, small hall effect propulsion system
- Green hydrogen peroxide monopropellant rocket engine with advanced catalytic beds
- Integrated plasma and fluid dynamics solvers.
The ITT is restricted to companies satisfying ESA's SME definition criteria, and belonging to ESA Member States or Canada. One single proposal per company will be admitted for evaluation.
Universities, research institutes, and similar organizations with established expertise in related technology may participate as subcontractor of an SME, for a limited share of the overall work.
For selected proposals ESA awards contracts with budgets ranging from 50 000 Euro to a maximum of 200 000 Euro. Duration of the work shall not exceed 18 months. The closing date for proposals is 11 October 2004.