Space-based Innovation and Digitalisation for the School of Tomorrow

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  • ActivityDemonstration Project
  • Closing date31 December 2021

 **Opening and closing dates are to be announced, therefore the closing date of 31 December 2021 is subject to change**


Schools have always played the role of catalysts of innovation and creativity. They are the place where students explore, often for the first time, new technologies and advanced solutions. The advantage of technologies and innovation in the education sector is twofold: students are accompanied and prepared to enter the world of work, and they also become an essential tool for enhancing the quality of teaching and the learning process, especially in extraordinary circumstances, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

ESA will launch an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) inviting companies to submit their ideas for deploying and demonstrating services to respond to the need of innovation in the education sector. The AO is issued in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Education (MI)

In September 2020, ESA and MI signed a Memorandum of Intent to cooperate with the objective of pursuing space based activities delivering innovation and digitalisation to  support the education for the benefit of students, teachers and the entire surrounding community. MI has supported the definition of objectives and use cases for the present call.

The high-level objectives of the AO are to: 

  • Guarantee the right of education to each student irrespective of geography, social status, economic conditions even during extraordinary circumstances;
  • Support the digital transformation of the school through the adoption of innovative  technologies and solutions to replace traditional learning solutions;
  • Offer the opportunity to economic operators to develop and demonstrate applications based on space for the benefit of students and educators;
  • Promote the knowledge of space related disciplines to educators and students.

Moreover, this AO aims to foster the connection between students of different countries as cultural exchanges are an opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Tenderers shall engage with at least two schools and agree with the relevant personnel a pilot trial to verify and deploy in an operational environment the proposed service(s).

Only for Tenderer(s) who choose to select schools in Italy for the pilot:

The Tenderer shall perform the pilot in a minimum of two schools, of which one will be indicated by MI following the submission of the Outline Proposal and in due time before the deadline for the submission of the Full Proposal. 

The AO is an umbrella-call organised around specific macro-areas, the first one to be addressed is Sport for Everyone.


Examples of targeted services of Sport for Everyone are:

  • Virtual Students Championship: organise and manage an online competition which sees the participation and the involvement of students of, desirably, different countries.  The students exploit the haptic technologies in a virtual environment to perform different sports. The virtual tournament will become an excellent platform for discovering different cultures and practicing new languages and developing the European Dimension in Sport.  
  • Sport for students with disabilities:  through sport, people without disabilities interact with people with disabilities in a positive context, an environmental facilitator, without barriers and without differences. The proposed service is intended to be a tool for fostering the inclusion and well-being of people with disabilities. The service will also encourage inclusion and help students without disabilities to remove perceptions and preconceptions.
  • Sport for the social inclusion:  a platform to allow students of different social classes, geographies and background to interact without the need of moving and using physical facilities while removing the discrimination. 


Space assets can play a key role in the development of these services.

Satellite Communication (SatCom) can:

  • Provide connectivity where terrestrial communications is insufficient to enable tele-education.

Satellite Navigation (SatNav) can:

  • Enable applications in the VR/AR environment;
  • Validate the access to the virtual platform based on the location of the pupils and the time when the access is done.

Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO) can:

  • Provide collection of data for production of images and maps, e.g. to provide relevant parameters into the VR/AR environment used for the competition or for the training (e.g. geographical maps).


ESA will bear up to 50% of the acceptable cost (up to an estimated amount of max. 1,000,000 Euro). 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.

To the extent that activities are performed by Universities and Research Institutes with no commercial interest in the proposed product/service, or by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, said activities are funded up to 80% by the Agency, depending on the funding level authorised by the related National Delegation(s).


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. 

The Agency will admit for evaluation only (Outline and Full) Proposals from a bidding team composed of an economic operator - being a prime or subcontractor - residing in any of those states that subscribe to ESA Space Solutions or to 5G SPL (5G Strategic Programme Line), should the proposed solution integrate also the 5G element.

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

Furthermore, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have subscribed to 5G SPL. 

Economic Operators (both prime and subcontractor), intending to respond to this AO are requested to send their Outline Proposal to their National Delegation(s).


The tendering process follows a two-step approach: 

The first step requires the submission of an Outline Proposal. The Tenderers whose Outline Proposal is positively evaluated will be invited by the Agency to prepare a Full Proposal. 


The prime and all subcontractors must register as potential bidders via esa-star.


  • Space-based Innovation and Digitalisation for the School of Tomorrow - Date to be announced. If you sign up here, you will receive communication from us when the date and time for this webinar has been decided.


ESA Space Solutions is the go-to-place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. Our mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of business using satellite applications and space technology to improve everyday life. Our programme is designed to provide multiple entry points such as ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs), ESA Technology Broker Network, and ESA Business Applications programme. Funding typically ranges from 50KEuro to 2MEuro and supports everything from space technology transfer, early stage incubation programs, Feasibility Studies to large-scale Demonstration Projects.