ESA title

Space for Sport, Culture and Education Infrastructure

  • Opportunity Call for Proposals (Non-Competitive)
  • Activity Feasibility Study, Demonstration Project
  • Opening date 31-01-2024
  • Closing date 26-04-2024
  • WEBINAR - ESA-UEFA Opportunities for Innovation in Sports 13 March 2024 - 12:00 CET Register

The third thematic area under the “Space for Infrastructure” thematic call for proposals is sport, culture and educational infrastructure. This refers to the physical and organisational structures where sport learning and culture are consumed, produced, experienced, participated in, displayed, exhibited, or sold. 

Examples of these  include:

  • football pitches
  • sport arenas
  • schools
  • libraries
  • laboratories
  • dance schools
  • museums
  • galleries
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • monuments
  • archaeological sites
  • historical sites

Given the importance of this type of infrastructure for the intellectual development of society and wellbeing for all, especially children, it is crucial that the design, preservation and delivery of this category of infrastructure is flawless. The underpinning infrastructure must enhance rather than hinder the provision of sport, educational and cultural services.

The Value of Space

Satellite technology and data have a significant role to play in the development of potential services.Satellite Communications (SatCom) facilitates ubiquitous connectivity to enhance:

  • communication links
  • connectivity of IoT devices
  • support for remote locations 

SatCom can also provide real-time, long-range communications with infrastructure monitoring systems such as UAVs, robots and remote assets. Finally, for applications which rely on connectivity, SatCom can provide additional benefits  when cellular networks are at capacity, for example:

  • ensuring a secure and constant communication service during large sporting events to monitor assets during emergency situations along with maintenance and emergency personnel
  • connecting  infrastructure grid IoT devices in remote locations
  • communicating to UAVs for applications such as infrastructure and crowd monitoring

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) can be used to enable geo-referencing of in-situ data, as well as positioning, navigation and tracking of vehicles and goods (PNT). GNSS-based technologies can be used for time-stamping reference system information, ensuring the traceability of the data. For example, GNSS allows the tracking and navigation of uncrewed vehicles and can help to enable the automation of infrastructure maintenance through robotics or UAVs. Example applications might include:

  • navigation of autonomous infrastructure maintenance vehicles - drones, robots etc
  • geo-fencing assets and vehicles
  • Maintenance data validation
  • Resilient timing synchronisation services

Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO), including next-generation nano satellite and CubeSat networks, can be used for many important functions including:

  • monitoring the status of  sport, educational and cultural sites 
  • infrastructure planning, construction and maintenance  
  • collecting information on geographical and environmental parameters for the sustainability analysis
  • integration of environmental data
  • identifying patterns and trends that may be linked to infrastructure safety risks and providing insights into how best to address them

Example applications include but are not limited to:

  • validation of digital twin models
  • monitoring of existing infrastructure
  • enforcement of cultural policy. ie the identification and protection of key historical and archaeological dig sites

What we are looking for

We look for teams who have identified an attractive market opportunity with real potential to engage customers. Motivation, business experience and domain expertise are all important features. We want to hear about your ideas that involve the utilisation of either space technology or space data.

In particular, we are looking for those opportunities which are going to become market disruptors in either the sport, cultural or educational infrastructure market(s) and which offer a high level of innovation.

About the Opportunity

As part of this call for proposals, ESA will support Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects under this ‘Announcement of Opportunities’:

  • Feasibility Studies allow successful teams to analyse, design and plan their intended service
  • Demonstration Projects allow successful teams to put their intended service into practice. Teams will test their service in the market by running a pilot with significant users and, by the end of the project, the service should be operational.

How to Apply 

1.    Register your team on esastar Registration ( today! If your team is made up of more than one company or organisation, each entity will need to register.
2.    Scroll down to the ‘Downloads’ section of this webpage to download all the official documents. Official documents include a document explaining the scope of this opportunity and the past two webinars hosted by ESA.
3.    Download the Activity Pitch Questionnaire template and submit your pitch as instructed in the Activity Pitch Questionnaire guidelines, using the form online.
4.    ESA will evaluate your pitch. Teams whose pitches are positively evaluated will be invited to prepare an Outline Proposal and then a Full Proposal. Teams must obtain a Letter of Authorisation from their respective National Delegation before submitting a Full Proposal. Contact details of all National Delegates can be found here.

Authorisation of Funding

For this call, companies residing in the following Member States will be eligible to apply: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 


A webinar is scheduled for 13 March 2024. Please use the register button at the top of this page to sign up for it.