ESA title
Enabling & Support

The Open Space Innovation Platform

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Preparing for the Future / Discovery and Preparation



Are you a business, university, organisation or individual with an idea for achieving more through space research? Join our community and share your idea with us through our Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP).

What is OSIP?

OSIP is a website that enables the submission of novel ideas for space technology and applications.

Anybody is welcome to submit ideas through OSIP. The platform supports individuals who wish to contribute to European space research and interact with space industry experts. It also encourages ideas from legal entities interested in interacting with ESA and gaining funding or support for new research activities.

OSIP sources ideas through two routes – campaigns and channels. Campaigns search for solutions to specific questions and typically have a well-defined, relatively short timeline. Channels seek ideas and collaboration on more general topics and have a more open timeframe.

Why was OSIP set up?

OSIP allows ESA to discover novel ideas and invest in new unconventional activities to foster advancement in the space industry. As the central European space body, ESA is ideally-placed to coordinate such projects.

The platform links ESA with businesses, organisations and individuals across the world. Working together in such a way is vital for effectively advancing space research and technology, and will contribute to the European space industry being a leader in this field.

For those with brilliant ideas, it can be difficult to know how to present them to ESA. OSIP provides an efficient, easy-to-use entry point for these ideas. It brings together Calls for Ideas from across ESA, making it easier to find and respond to them.

How can I submit an idea?

The first step is to register on OSIP, where open campaigns and channels are visible. Ideas can be submitted in response to either a campaign or a channel.

When a campaign opens, it kicks off with an idea submission phase. During this time businesses and individuals are invited to submit ideas. Initially, new ideas can be kept private, and may be developed with other contributors. An idea can then be submitted, either privately or openly.

For ideas submitted openly, a community discussion phase allows other platform users to vote and comment on ideas, sparking dialogue between users. At this point, ideas can be developed and edited. Additional authors can also be added, leading to collaboration between users on specific projects. Following this phase, eligible ideas will be evaluated by a team of ESA experts. If ESA deems the idea to be sufficiently interesting, it will move the idea to the next step, possibly with some suggestions for elaborations or improvements.

If the idea comes from a legal entity with the ability to pursue it further, ESA may sign a business partnership with that entity, which comprises funding and support. To enter such a partnership, the entity must be eligible to do business with ESA (see Article 18 of the ESA Procurement Regulations).

For an idea originating from an individual without the means to carry it further, ESA may refine the idea before opening an invitation to tender based on it, with the aim of seeking entities that can transform the idea into reality.

New campaigns are regularly issued on OSIP, based on ESA’s needs. All campaigns are announced via the Agency’s official channels or via OSIP itself.

Even those without novel ideas can participate in OSIP. An important part of the platform is the community discussion element, where users build upon each others’ ideas, perhaps suggesting improvements or extensions.

Who implements OSIP?

OSIP is run through ESA’s Discovery & Preparation Programme, which lays the groundwork for ESA’s short- to medium-term future activities. The Discovery element of this programme supports studies into novel space technology and applications. OSIP provides Discovery and other ESA programmes with a platform to find the best research to support.

Get involved at and help shape the future of space research.

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