ESA title

Space and 5G Convergence: Transport & Logistics

  • Activity Demonstration Project
  • Opening date 09-07-2020
  • Closing date 29-01-2021



The current opportunity “Space and 5G convergence: Transport & Logistics” is open for companies to submit ideas for demonstration projects focusing on the development and pilot of sustainable downstream services addressing UK Government’s priorities in the Logistics sector. 

The services shall rely on converged 5G terrestrial and satellite communication networks, opening the way to new connectivity solutions and sustainable business models for operators and industrial customers.

This Call shall support proposals for solutions that clearly demonstrate innovation in the convergence of space and terrestrial networks.

This initiative is based on the Memorandum of Intent (MoI) signed in December 2019 by ESA and the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The main purpose of the MoI is to support the emergence of commercially sustainable products and services enabled by the deployment of converged 5G terrestrial and space networks. 

Sustainable applications relying on 5G communications will require the establishment of a wide ecosystem including terrestrial and satellite connectivity providers. Collaboration between these actors is aimed at the deployment of converged networks, which will allow application developers and service providers to deliver innovative and sustainable services for a longer term efficient, competitive and low carbon logistics sector.


Tenderers responding to the Call for Proposals are invited to propose Demonstration Projects dedicated to the deployment and demonstration of pre-operational sustainable downstream services, addressing the UK Government’s priorities in the Logistics sector: 

  1. Fostering utilization of space and terrestrial assets to deliver and showcase seamless 5G connectivity.
  2. Promoting the development of innovative and sustainable business applications and value chains.
  3. Supporting the creation of an ecosystem composed of user communities, space actors, downstream application developers and 5G communications service providers to deliver socio-economic benefits. 

The proposals shall implement as a minimum one pilot within the UK territory addressing UK users in the Transport & Logistics sector (including land, air and maritime). To this aim, the Bidder shall engage with relevant representatives of UK-based user communities operating in the Logistics sectors, besides terrestrial and satellite network operators operating in the UK, and agree with them pilot trial(s) to verify and deploy in a pre-operational environment the proposed service(s). Additional pilots outside the UK can be proposed when targeted at reinforcing the business case in European or export markets.

The service provider shall have a leading role in the team to ensure the commercial operational roll-out of the proposed service in the UK following completion of the project.

Examples of application areas for the Transport & Logistics theme are:

  • Optimization of the vehicles routes in order to guarantee the minimum level of emissions and to reduce air pollution and noise.
  • Ensure effective and efficient freight transport to rural areas.
  • Improve the efficiency of long route transport of natural resources (like coal, timber etc.), including movement of goods from/to ports.
  • Propose solutions using unmanned/automated vehicles on-air or on-land  for delivery of goods.
  • Monitoring of equipment of ships at sea and trucks on land.

Projects can include all technology and product ground developments required for the delivery of the proposed service. The Bidder shall also include in its proposal the associated required integration activities, including the integration of space and non-space networks and technologies.

The proposals submitted in the context of this call shall be implemented in the frame of the ESA 5G Strategic Programme Line. 


Examples of the role of the space assets and 5G instrumental to the proposals are provided here below.

Although the emphasis is on converged telecommunications networks making use of satellite telecommunications, other space based technologies (such as Satellite Earth Observation data, Satellite Navigation), as well as other non-space technologies (such as IoT, Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence - AI) may be part of the overall solution.

Satellite Communications (SatCom) can: 

  • Connect remote places w/o terrestrial communication
  • Backup of terrestrial systems
  • Enable M2M

Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO) can: 

  • Provide imagery for the maps required by the road traffic management
  • Provide air pollution information, CO2 emissions, etc. Data from SatEO and ground network can be combined with data from Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)

Satellite Navigation (SatNav) can:

  • Provide an accurate location to track & trace vehicles and to guide to the locations of interest
  • Track  and route emergency  vehicles and freights
  • Navigate autonomous vehicles, RPAS


  • To enable the sharing of quasi real-time information about traffic and road conditions among vehicles
  • To enable quasi real-time information about train positioning and other technical parameters to be shared between trains and with train operators
  • M2M and secure communication


We offer funding and support to companies, both for business case assessment and for the development of new, space-based 5G services in the Logistics sector. Our offer includes:

  • Technical & commercial guidance
  • Access to our network and partners
  • Use of the ESA brand for your service
  • Zero-equity funding

ESA will bear up to 50% of the eligible total project costs. The remainder has to be financed by the Tenderer through private sector directly and/or indirectly via 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).

For activities related to technology/product development, different funding levels may apply.


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 innovative ideas that involve utilisation of either space technology or space data for sustainable services. 

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

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.


For information on how to apply, please visit this page.


A webinar was scheduled on July 9th 2020. Watch the webinar with representatives of ESA, DCMS, UK Space Agency and experts as they reflect on the impact of converged 5G terrestrial and satellite communication network on business models.