ESA title
Enabling & Support


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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology

How can I submit R&D proposals to the Agency?

As well as offering research and development Invitations to Tender through its EMITS procurement system, ESA has a number of opportunities for firms to present proposals for new R&D. These include periodic and permanent Calls for Proposals and Announcements of Opportunity (AO) across a range of ESA technology programmes:

TRP - Innovation Triangle Initiative

Part of ESA's Basic Technology Research Programme (TRP), the Innovation Triangle Initiative (ITI) supports the identification, validation and development of disruptive space innovations based on new concepts and ideas, giving preference to innovations coming originally from non-space industrial or research sectors. The submitters of these contacts are supported through seed money, technical support and networking opportunities.

TRP – Startiger

This initiative aims at fast concurrent prototyping of advanced technology. It is named after the first project carried out in 2002 that ended with a prototype of a camera operating in the 100’s of GHx range, the associated technologies and processes.It is planned to isse yearly calls in EMITS.

Three Startiger projects have been initiated until now and a forth one is under selection.

GSTP - Permanent Open Announcement of Opportunity

This permanently open AO mechanism within ESA's General Support Technology Programme (GSTP) is to offer industry a mechanism for submitting proposals for company strategic or market-oriented activities in order to strengthen their competitiveness, giving ESA the means to react promptly to such industrial proposals. The AO is aimed at implementing well-targeted industry-led activities, so it complements the GSTP work plan which is mainly involved in preparing technologies in support of ESA-led programmes. The AO also covers technology transfer activities.

ESA Telecom ARTES C&G – Permanently Open Call for Proposals

ESA Telecom's ARTES Competitiveness & Growth (C&G) programme for satcom R&D includes a permanently open call for proposals from industry with the purpose of developing exploitation-ready products with a strong business plan, proceeding on a 50 percent shared funding basis.

ESA Telecom ARTES AT– Permanently Open Call for Proposals

ARTES Advanced Technology (AT), or non-competitive Industry Initiated activities are identified and proposed by Industry through an Open Call for Proposals, a mechanism allowing Industry to submit one or several proposals at any time. The Open Call for Proposals for this element is published on ESA's Electronic Tendering System (EMITS) under AO/6000.

Technology Transfer – Open Call System for Technology Transfer Feasibility Study proposals

A permanently Open Call for Technology Transfer feasibility study proposals allows both space and non-space organisations as well as individuals to assess the feasibility of a possible transfer of a technology from a space donor to a non-space receiver. Such a study aims at assessing the potential as well as the limitations of the technology, the technical barriers for the transfer and ways of overcoming them.

Business with the Incubator – Open Call for Proposals

The ESA Business Incubation Centres (BICs) are an initiative of ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO). This supports the creation of startup companies in the non-space sectors, developing products or services, either in the downstream market of space systems applications or embedding a space technology transfer. Successful BICs have already been established in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Belgium; a seventh BIC will be opened shortly in Belgium. All ESA BICs operate under a "common approach", specified by ESA/TTPO, and have a continuous Open Call for Proposals; this means that applications can be submitted at any time for evaluation and selection (four per year). The main requirement for selection is that the applicant's product or service shall show a space connection, either applications of space systems, or space technology transfer, or both.

ARTES Entry Initiative

ESA offers an exciting opportunity for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) entering into the field of satellite communications with the ARTES Entry Initiative. This initiative is designed to support SMEs through the stages of research and development for the satcom market.  The scheme awards development contracts with financial support up to 75% of the activity cost (max €250,000). The Always Open Call for Proposals for this element is published on ESA's Electronic Tendering System (EMITS) under AO8595.

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