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Technology Programmes

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ESA / About Us / Ministerial Council 2016

General Support Technology Programme (GSTP)


  • Continue the seamless innovation chain of ESA from the Basic Activities R&D to maturing technology into products for all space technology disciplines, and for all ESA programmes;
  • Contribute to all European and Canadian missions and industries success by providing cutting-edge technologies and innovative products;
  • Promote spin-in and spin-off technologies with other sectors, including support to Business Incubation Centres;
  • Perform in-orbit demonstration to support the adoption of new technologies, small missions, also in partnership with other programmes, using the most efficient carriers, from cubesats to the ISS.
  • ESA has been investigating the different 3D printing technologies



Growth of the European space sector, through:

  • products, supporting successful missions and winning on the commercial market, improving the competitiveness of all industries;
  • implementation of cross-cutting technologies, such as Cleanspace, advanced manufacturing, ‘design to produce’, spinning-in Industry 4.0 processes to reduce cost and time to market for all missions;
  • engineering and operational tools, contributing to the reduction of mission costs and facilitating the exploitation of the wealth of data generated by the space missions, taking advantage of big data technologies;
  • breakthrough technology missions.


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Manufacturing space technologies using 3D printing
Manufacturing space technologies using 3D printing

GSTP has a strategic role in the competitiveness of Canadian and European industry, helping all industries, especially SMEs, and ensuring that critical technologies reach the necessary level of maturity before entering into expensive implementation phases.

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