Path to Post-COVID Recovery

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  • OPPORTUNITYIntended Tender
  • ACTIVITYFeasibility Study
  • Opening date19 June 2020
  • Closing date29 August 2020

***Opening and closing dates are tentative***

THE CHALLENGE

While the coronavirus continues to spread relentlessly to all parts of the world, businesses are analysing ways to prepare their responses to the post-COVID situation and increase their resilience. Not all sectors have been equally affected. Service sectors, including transport, travel, and tourism, have been hit the hardest  as they have lost significant demand. 

Given the complexity of the pandemic, the recovery phase will require high levels of orchestration and coordination. However, the actions that the companies will take during this recovery period need also to set the foundation for a more sustained growth and performance. 

It is increasingly clear that a new “normal” may emerge. In this new reality, it will be necessary for most of the industries to reassess their entire business plan, introduce new ways to use advanced technology tools, assess the impact of the growing online commerce and prepare contingent actions in order to return their business to an effective production at pace and at scale. 

Opportunities to push the digitalization and automation adoption will be accelerated by rapid learning about what it takes to drive productivity when staff are unavailable. 

The European Space Agency’s Invitation to Tender “Path to post-COVID Recovery” offers support and funding to companies to assess the technical feasibility and economic viability of sustainable services which can contribute to the post-COVID recovery in vertical sectors such as transport, energy, healthcare, education, tourism and agriculture, using satellite data and technologies.  

TOPICS OF RELEVANCE

The feasibility study shall address opportunities for space technology and applications in support of at least one of the following sectors:

  • Mobility and Tourism
  • Education and Health
  • Energy
  • Agrifood
  • Real Estate

Mobility and Tourism 
Public and private transport has been severely impacted by travel bans, avoidance of public gatherings, closure of countries borders resulting in sharp reductions in transport demand and travel at regional and national levels. New approaches will have to be adopted to help the tourism sector as a whole to recover. 

Relevant applications include: 

  • Seamless and efficient transportation solutions to increase mobility access with sustainable environmental solutions.
  • Autonomous vehicles (AVs) into public transport service and for goods delivery 
  • Increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning in public transport, 
  • Digital tourism management 
  • Sustainable strategies applications making use of open platforms and data 

Education and Health 
The outbreak has shifted the approach to education and training to patterns that are much more sustainable, recognizing the opportunities of the online environment.  Pronounced changes in the healthcare sector will arise, such as remote diagnostics, AI diagnosis assistance and telemedicine.

Relevant applications include: 

  • Remote learning solutions to offer access to quality education and information 
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications 
  • Telemedicine services 
  • Healthcare for minorities based on mapping exercises and site assessments  
  • Crowdsource platforms

Energy 
Restrictions of the transport have contributed to a decrease in the demand for oil, resulting in a production decline, in favour of renewable energies as solar and wind generators that have lower marginal costs.

Relevant applications include: 

  • Mobile solar power distribution
  • Provision of clean energy to households’ communities, enabling smart grid management, remote monitoring and data analytics
  • Lastmile on-demand clean energy delivery service

Agrifood 
The recovery is anticipated to bring the expansion of the agrifood market to innovative solutions, products, technologies to reinvigorate the sector.

Relevant applications include: 

  • Automated operations to mitigate the risks stemming from dependence on seasonal workers and reduce human contact
  • Digital solutions as record-keeping for the farmers operations 
  • Innovation in supply chains and markets to help the farmers in getting the required material and placing their products to market

Real Estate 
The real estate industry, in all its sectors as housing, commercial properties, offices, hospitality and logistics, needs also to recover. For example, the increase in online shopping has impacted how retailers operate and the management of warehousing space. 

Relevant services include: 

  • Land planning and identification
  • Digital applications for industrial plants 
  • Warehouse management with increased use of automation, robots and data analytics prediction algorithms

VALUE OF SPACE 

Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO)
- SatEO data, combined with advances in AI and machine learning, could be used to provide insight into people movement patterns and trends.

- SatEO can be used to support the strategic planning of the infrastructure, considering demand for transport services and to provide a model of the impact on the environment and population.

- SatEO data can be used for the provision of weather forecast, for planning and optimisation of activities.  

Satellite Navigation (SatNav)
- SatNav can be used to provide an accurate location to track & trace people and vehicles and to guide to locations of interest.

- SatNav can help guide and navigate autonomous vehicles, such as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and to generate a precise timestamp. 

- SatNav will be particularly useful for helping people to implement social distancing in queues and other public spaces.

Satellite Communications (SatCom)
- SatCom provides broadband internet, voice-over IP, video and reliable communications to remote locations. 

- SatCom can be used as a primary communication means or as back-up to terrestrial networks, enhancing robustness and resilience. 

- The convergence between satcom and terrestrial communications, in the future 5G mobile network, will be a key enabler for satisfying the requirements of high speed and secure communications.

WHAT WE OFFER

ESA Space Solutions can provide funding for assessing the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services that exploit one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology). The call is open to companies that intend to develop space-enabled applications and services relating to the post-COVID recovery in different vertical sectors. The activities will be 100% funded up to €150K per activity.

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

We look for teams that 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 utilisation of either space technology or space data. 

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

The applicable funding level of the individual prime - or subcontractors is subject to authorisation by the involved National Delegation(s). Therefore, bidding teams are requested to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from all the respective national delegations before submitting the Proposal.

ESA TENDER INFORMATION 

Responding to an open competitive Invitation to Tender (ITT) requires the submission of a Proposal. The Proposal will be evaluated according to ESA regulations and procedures.

The consequential evaluation of proposals results in a recommendation for a winning bid. In the case that several proposals of good quality targeting different and/or complementary aspects are submitted, the Agency reserves the right to place parallel contracts for each of the open competitive ITTs in coordination with the relevant national delegations.

For the fully detailed Proposal Guide on competitive ITTs click: Open Competition.

HOW TO APPLY

1. The Prime and all subcontractors must register as potential bidders via esa-star, prior to downloading the official tender documents from EMITS and submitting the Proposal. The registration process needs to be started as soon as possible, as it will take time to complete.

2. Download the official tender documentation (Invitation to Tender) and create a ‘Bidder Restricted Area’ via EMITS from 19 June 2020.

3. Write the proposal and obtain a Letter of Support from the National Delegation.

4. Submit the proposal via ESA-STAR Tendering by the deadline. 

Webinars

Webinars are scheduled for the following dates:

  • 03/06/2020, 15:00 CEST (14:00 BST)
  • 10/06/2020, 11:00 CEST (10:00 BST)