Space Applications Supporting Digital Transformation in Public Safety - Batch 2

  • ESA-STAR REF720
  • ActivityDemonstration Project
  • Opening date 15-09-2022
  • Closing date 30-06-2023

Deadline Submission of Outline Proposal: 30/12/2022
Deadline Full proposal submission: 30/06/2023 (date is tentative)

Space Applications Supporting Digital Transformation in Public Safety (Batch 2)

Digital Transformation is the change of business by altering the business strategy, operations, products, and objectives through adopting digital technologies. By implementing Digital Transformation, public safety stakeholders can make better informed decisions and create additional opportunities for cross-agency collaboration. 

This trend has been accelerated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which created unforeseen challenges for public safety stakeholders to find ways to enable their staff to work remotely by providing secure access to sensitive systems. As a result, the ways of working have changed and new technology has a critical role to play in supporting first responders, emergency call centres, and post-incident investigations.  

In this context, space can play a crucially important role in supporting the digital transformation within the Public Safety domain. Therefore, ESA issues a Thematic Call to enable companies in delivering their business propositions to support public safety stakeholders in making this Digital Transformation. 

Scope 

The proposals shall focus on the design, development and demonstration of space-based applications addressing the involved stakeholders’ priorities in the public safety sectors related to Digital Transformation.

The services shall demonstrate innovation in connection to enhanced secure communications and utilisation of other space technologies in combination with the ongoing Digital Transformation which has allowed the opening up of new opportunities for the public safety sector, leading to the emergence of new concepts and solutions to tackle safety and security challenges with innovative solutions.

Representatives of the following stakeholder verticals belonging to the public safety sector are planned to be involved: 

  • Fire brigades
  • Law enforcement 
  • Emergency services
  • Civil protection

The call will invite companies to submit proposals for development and demonstration projects showcasing the value of innovative space-based downstream services and solutions in the Public Safety domain. The call themes and use cases have been defined through dialogue with several European stakeholders and in the frame of preparatory user studies performed in 2021. Examples of use cases addressed by the call are:

  • “New normal” ways of secure working including secure remote access for teleworking and creation of new opportunities for cross-agency collaboration e.g., enabled by connecting shared databases through digitalisation. 
  • Secure SatCom supported communication systems connecting frontline responders to provide extensive coverage, high resilience, security, and public safety functionality. 
  • Internet of Things (IoT) providing connected devices for on field monitoring and connected vehicles, e.g., enabling fleet management and optimised routing during interventions based on hybrid connectivity (cellular, satellite).  
  • Broadband communication systems providing on field broadband connectivity, for instance provided by vehicles (cell of wheels) or drones (cell of wings) capable to restore broadband connectivity or by portable devices capable to provide broadband connectivity to nearby devices.
  • On demand monitoring of impacted areas based on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) providing increased efficiency, covering a wider area in a faster way versus traditional land vehicles, providing increased safety and providing vital information concerning the operations.
  • Rapid access to Earth observation data enabling mapping, situational awareness and assessments of damages
  • Navigation and tracking using Satellite navigation/ GNSS to support rescue operations and logistics 

In order to achieve such objectives and address the above use cases, the proposed services shall rely on space-based technology already or imminently available. Additional use cases may be proposed by bidders involving the use of space assets such as satellite communications, Earth observation and/or satellite navigation. 

The projects will be co-funded through the ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) 4.0 programme of ESA in the context of the Strategic Programme Line “Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S)”  to support Satellite Applications for Public Safety focused on downstream activities, user engagement and consolidation of user needs in a set of user segments using innovative Satellite Communication systems (LEO, MEO or GEO) in order to support the needs of public safety stakeholders such as emergency services, fire brigades, law enforcement and civil protection.

Furthermore, ESA has initiated the “Rapid and Resilient crisis Response” (R3) accelerator introduced at the ESA Council in October 2021 (https://vision.esa.int/rapid-and-resilient-crisis-response/). As part of one of three ‘Accelerators’ that will drive Europe’s increased use of space, the Rapid and Resilient Crisis Response Accelerator will use intelligent interconnectivity in space to respond to crises on Earth. In addition, ESA together with ESA Member states have elaborated on a need for a European flagship programme for ‘Civil Security from Space’ (CSS) https://artes.esa.int/civil-security which is proposed to be a federated solution interconnecting space and ground systems and services, existing, planned and future. Such a solution allows to gather, process and provide information in real time to facilitate decision-making, and enables connectivity between first responders and their control centres. 

This Thematic Call is fully integrated into this initiative and serves to support its aims by establishing a range of precursor services within the domain of safety and security.  

What are we looking for? 

The call offers the opportunity to companies to bring forward their business propositions, which will leverage on space and advanced Digital Transformation technologies for delivering sustainable solutions. Funded participation to 4S Strategic Programme Line is open to any company and/or organisation residing in the following Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Contact information can be found under: National Delegations.

Please upload the finalised proposal using the online web submission form.