ESA operations software - licensing & application

ESA-owned intellectual property rights (IPR) assets are available for licensing. The software deployed within the operational environments at ESOC, ESA's operations centre, is so-called 'operational software'. Access the license application form here. Basically, ESA-owned items are available free of charge for ESA Member States and bodies under their jurisdiction, although a handling fee will be levied.

Handling fee

As of 1 April 2011, a handling fee of 4kEUR will be charged per license issued for non-ESA projects. This covers the internal costs of the contractual, legal and administrative services required in the licensing process.

A familiarisation license can be requested without incurring the handling fee; this will only include the product-associated documentation. However, the handling fee is compulsory for familiarisation licenses including source code and documentation.

Common issues for all licenses

The licenses are issued for one particular project, exclusively for peaceful purposes and without transfer external to ESA Member States. For technology transfer outside ESA Member States, prior approval by the Agency's Technology and Product Transfer Board (ATB) must be obtained.

Types of licenses

There are four different types of licenses:

  • Documentation license for familiarisation purposes only
  • Runtime/binary code license
  • Source code License
  • CFI license

Runtime/binary code license

This license can be obtained for application of software in operational environment and entitles the licensee to software executables and full documentation as available.

The duration is related to the duration of the purpose.

Source code licence

This license can be obtained for development and productisation and entitles the licensee to the full source code and full documentation as available.

The duration is related to the duration of the purpose.

CFI license

This license can only be obtained for development under an ESA Contract and entitles the licensee to software executables and/or source code and full documentation as available.

The IPR for all modifications in all modules or entirely new modules belongs to ESA. 

The duration is granted till the end of the project/contract.

License application

Last update: 28 January 2014

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