ESA Telecom Newcomers' Initiative
ESA offers an exciting opportunity for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) entering into the field of satellite communications with the ESA Telecom Newcomers' Initiative. This initiative is designed to support SMEs through the early stages of research and development of services for the satcom market.
The field of satellite communications can be a difficult one for smaller businesses to enter. The technical and commercial risks, as well as the perceived complexity of the area, can act as strong deterrents to entrepreneurs and potential financiers alike.
However, satcom provides many exciting possibilities for new technology, applications and services and it is not only the large enterprises that can exploit these opportunities successfully. The Newcomers' Initiative aims to support SMEs in the development of services or applications emerging from the creative use of existing satellite technology such as multimedia, Internet, mobile applications, or systems or technologies to support new, or improve existing, services.
The scheme provides for the award of development contracts with the financial support up to 50% (max 200,000 Euro) for integration and demonstration activities based on existing technologies tailored to pre-operational products, systems and applications, with identified market opportunities.
In addition to the financial support, ESA will also use its expertise and contacts to bring together complementary ideas and ventures in the satcom field.
The aim of this initiative is to ensure that at the conclusion of the project, companies are in a position to progress the commercial exploitation of their proposal.
Who is eligible?
Any small or medium-sized business from a country participating in the Initiative for ESA Telecom Newcomers is eligible to apply. Participating countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. France and the Netherlands are also eligible but only to a max of 150 kEuro.
How do I apply?
The application process is divided into two steps to allow feedback on initial ideas (step 1: Outline Proposal) before a full proposal (step 2: Complete Proposal) is required. Initial ideas, described in less than four pages of text, are submitted using an online form (see also "related links" on the right side of this page). The ideas are evaluated by ESA and coordinated with the national authorities. Companies are informed about the outcome. Selected companies would then be invited to submit full proposals. An evaluation and iteration period follows, in order to reach a common agreement on the content of the activity and to award a contract.
A question and answer document with complete details on the Newcomers' Initiative can be found in the links located in the right column of this page.
A "Continuous Open Call for Proposals" has been issued for the Newcomers' Initiative. It is published on ESA's Electronic Tendering System (EMITS) under AO/1-5658/08/NL/US. The Outline Proposal Form and Tender document links are located under the Related Links heading found in the right column of this page.
Last Update: 27 Feb 2014