ATV was part of the European participation in the International Space Station - an optional ESA programme. 10 countries out of the group of all ESA Member States participated in the International Space Station project and were involved in the ATV project.
Each country decides in which optional programme it wishes to participate and the amount of its contribution. ESA operates on the basis of geographical return, it invests in each Member State — through industrial contracts for space programmes — an amount more or less equivalent to each country's contribution.
The ATV project involved dozens of companies and thousands of technicians and engineers from 10 European countries under the prime contractorship of Astrium.
Many European companies were involved in making the components that formed an ATV. ATV also involved companies from Russia, whose main contractor was RSC Energia to build ATV's docking mechanism, the refuelling system and electronics.
ESA managed a budget of around €1.3 Billion over 13 years for the ATV development, including the building of ground equipments, the first ATV Jules Verne and its inaugural flight.