Space for Resilient Utilities

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  • ESA-STAR REFAO 10988
  • ActivityDemonstration Project
  • Opening date11 October 2021
  • Closing date28 February 2022

In the upcoming Announcement of Opportunity economic operators are invited to propose a Demonstration Project addressing the theme of Space for Resilient Utilities. This new opportunity originates from the ARTES 4.0 Strategic Programme Line “Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S)“.

This Call for Opportunity is based on a two-step approach:

  • Outline Proposals submission deadline: 19 Nov 2021
  • Full Proposals submission deadline: 28 Feb 2022

OPPORTUNITY

The utilities sector, including water, sewage, and energy networks amongst other, is considered a critical infrastructure, meaning that the loss, or interruption of them would result in a significant impact of the functioning of the state and/or significant economic and social impacts.

These networks, as well as their associated equipment and personnel are increasingly monitored and controlled by communication technologies. While this digitalisation is highly effective in optimising systems performance and management, it also increases the threat and vulnerability surface to deliberate and intentional (cyber) attacks and unintentional and external hazards and its dependability on the availability of terrestrial networks. 

Satellite communications are in a unique position to not only offer safe and secure communication links to increase the network resilience (either as a primary link or as redundant system) but also extend the digitalisation of networks to remote areas.

The objective of this call is to foster the development and showcase of innovative applications which embed satellite communications into the management of utilities networks, infrastructure, or personnel to enhance their safety and security.

The Call for Proposals is originating from interactions with public and private stakeholders from the utilities sector.

OBJECTIVES

The proposals shall focus on the design, development and demonstration of applications enabled by satellite telecommunications in the utility sector. 

A preliminary list of user scenarios and applications to be addressed include (but are not limited to):

  • Prevention or detection of outages by monitoring the physical condition of the utilities’ passive information (e.g. high-voltage pylons, access to substations, pumping stations).
  • Monitoring and control of electricity flows through the grid thanks to connectivity with power transmission substations.
  • Monitoring and control of water and sewage water levels, flows and quality through sensors and IoT networks.
  • Connectivity back-up for increased resilience at all sites, or primary link for remote substations.
  • Monitoring of workers health parameters through wearable devices.
  • Use of AR/VR for training and commissioning, maintenance, and decommissioning operations on remote sites (e.g. wind farms, water reservoirs in remote areas).
  • Digital twins of infrastructures.

During the activities, integration with future Satellite telecommunications infrastructures may also be investigated, in view of paving the way for future proof-of-concepts and demonstrations.  

Proposals using in complement other space assets, technologies and data are in addition welcomed.

WHAT WE OFFER

We offer funding and support to companies, both for business case assessment and for the development of new, space-based services. Our offer includes:

  • Technical & commercial guidance
  • Access to our network and partners
  • Use of the ESA brand for your service
  • Zero-equity funding as summarized in the table presented below:

PROJECT FUNDING

ESA will bear up to 50% of the project eligible cost; the remainder has to be financed by the Tenderer through private sector direct and/or indirect co-funding and/or by the users based on terms and conditions to be agreed upon. 

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises activities can be funded up to 80 % by the Agency, depending on the funding level authorised by the related National Delegation(s).

Work carried out by universities and research institutes involved as contractors or subcontractors and justifying no further commercial interest in the product may be up to 80% funded by the Agency (for Demonstration Projects), depending on the funding level authorised by the related National Delegation(s). The funding of Universities or Research Institutes shall not exceed 30% of the total allowable cost.  

The Agency will admit for evaluation only (Outline and Full) Proposals from a bidding team composed of economic operators - being prime or subcontractor - residing in any of those states that subscribe to ARTES 4.0 4S Strategic Programme Line.

To date, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have subscribed to 4S SPL. 

Contact information can be found under: National Delegations | ESA TIA

HOW TO APPLY

1. Register your entity (for free and without any commitment) in our system to be able to retrieve the information (minimum ‘light registration’). This can be done here: https://www.esa.int/About_Us/Business_with_ESA/How_to_do/esa-star_Registration_Process

2. Download the documentation associated to this Announcement of Opportunity AO 10988 on ESA tendering system (ESA-STAR) 

3. Prepare your Outline Proposal using the template.

4. Submit your Outline Proposal to ESA (ARTES-4S@esa.int, cc : Contract Officer email address) and to your ESA National Delegation(s).

5. The Tenderers whose Outline Proposal is positively evaluated, will be invited by the Agency to prepare a Full Proposal.

6. Submit your Full Proposal via esa-star using the provided template (with the Letter of Authorization from tendering team’s national delegations. Without this letter, the proposal will not be eligible).

WEBINARS

A webinar is scheduled for Wednesday 29 September 2021 at 11:00 CEST (10:00 BST).