Technology business opportunities: How to participate

Who works with ESA technology programmes?

ESA works with a wide variety of collaborators to develop new technologies, with a large percentage of its budget spent on contracts with industry. And the Agency is always interested in hearing from potential innovation partners.

On a general basis all firms (the Agency uses the term to refer to research institutions as well as companies) of ESA Member States can participate in ESA procurements. There are some exceptions but for research and development activities open competition is the norm.

How do I find out about upcoming opportunities?

ESA operates an online information system called the Electronic Mail Invitation to Tender System (EMITS) for potential bidders to access information about current and planned ESA procurements for the year ahead. Access to EMITS is password protected, but open to all Member State firms following a simple registration process.

How do I get to present R&D proposals to the Agency?

Several ESA technology programmes incorporate periodic or permanently open Calls for Proposals. See the right hand link for more information.

What opportunities are open to small firms?

ESA recognises small and medium sized companies (SMEs) as key innovation makers. ESA technology programmes accordingly welcome interest from small firms.

The Agency has introduced a SME Initiative to encourage their entry into the space sector. It includes a number of funding instruments for new technology development (see Calls for Proposals on the right hand link), specialised training in aspects of the space industry and partnership and networking opportunities coordinated through a dedicated SME website.

ESA R&D programmes also include procurements clauses for SMEs and non-prime contractors to guarantee them a share of its technology spending and to encourage the formation of balance bidding teams including the full range of expertise.

Last update: 27 April 2009

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