Are you currently working with a technology that has never been used in space but which you believe has the potential to improve (or even enable) a specific space application? Are you interested in validating this technology for space? If the answer to both questions is yes, then ESA’s Innovation Triangle Initiative is probably the quickest way you can find to support your research.
The objective of the Innovation Triangle Initiative (ITI) is to foster the fast introduction of disruptive innovations into any technical domain of the European space industry by combining the creativity, know-how and experience of the research community and industry with the end customers.
ITI is based on the ‘Innovation Triangle’ concept, which states that the rapid and successful introduction of disruptive innovations in industry requires the collaboration of three different entities: a customer, a developer and an inventor.
Three types of contract activities are envisaged within the ITI, each one focused on one element of the ‘Innovation Triangle’:
- Type A - Proof of concept (focused on inventors): fast validation of new ideas and demonstration of their advantages
- Type B - Demonstration of feasibility and use (focused on developers): component and/or breadboard development up to validation in the laboratory
- Type C - Technology adoption (focused on customers): support for the technology to be adopted by a European space company with the final objective of including the developed technology in their services, products or processes
Proposal submission deadlines
For 2007, the ITI Announcement of Opportunity (published on 5 April in EMITS with reference AO/1-5403/07/NL/CB) will only accept for evaluation proposals of types A and B. The ITI Evaluation Board plans three evaluation rounds during 2007. The proposal submission deadlines for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd evaluation rounds are, respectively, 7 May 2007, 20 June 2007 and 12 September 2007.
ITI was launched in 2004. Since then, 70 contracts have been placed with a total value of €6.5 million. ITI promotes spin-in, meaning that innovations originating from non-space industrial or research sectors are particularly welcome. This initiative is particularly interesting for entities with less experience in space activities, because it gives an opportunity to work together with companies that are already established in the space market. Newcomers can thus acquire valuable experience in developing and validating innovative technologies for space.