"We are facing dramatic changes in the space landscape,” says ESA Director General Jan Wörner. Not only is the commercial part of space changing, the public sector is as well.”
The space sector is in the midst of rapid, fundamental change triggered by a mature, vibrant and increasingly diverse industrial base. Sustained market growth driven by the emergence of new commercial opportunities and the full-scale integration of space into modern economies is adding to this change.
The Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP) is part of that change. Launched in April 2019, the platform is destined to become the main streamlined entry point for novel ideas into ESA, both in response to specific problems and through open calls for ideas. The platform forms part of a wider effort to support the future competitiveness of European space industry with early technology development, implemented through the new Space Technology Strategy.
“Through OSIP we hope to build and nurture a community of space technology enthusiasts,” explains Jan Wörner. “The platform enables people to inject their insight into ESA and collaborate smoothly with ESA experts to contribute to the future of Europe in space.”
OSIP in general, and in particular the new open discovery Channel, reverses the classical approach of engaging with ESA. Here, you describe your idea, focusing on its novelty, and we try to channel it into the most appropriate ESA implementation path, starting with the three main activities of the Discovery element of ESA’s Basic Activities. OSIP makes it easy for you to tell us your brilliant ideas, and for us to turn them into real space activities.
Not only are we opening up to early innovation with this Channel, but we have also put in place provisions for fast feedback. Ideas will be evaluated by a team of experts every month, and the most novel will be carried further along one of three paths: research at PhD or post-doctoral level co-funded by ESA and a second organisation, an early technology development activity or a system study.
The Channel is open alongside Campaigns that call for ideas on specific topics. Two Campaigns are currently open; one on enabling technologies for construction and manufacturing on moons and planets and one on model-based system engineering.