Space-based Innovation and Digitalisation for the School of Tomorrow, Use Case: Social Inclusion

  • ESA-STAR REFAO/1-10662
  • ActivityDemonstration Project
  • Opening date 04-04-2022
  • Closing date 31-08-2022

***The deadline for the Outline Proposal submission for the use case 2 has been extended from 16th of June 2022, EOB to: 15th of July 2022, EOB. The Full Proposal needs to be submitted before 31 August 2022.***

OPPORTUNITY

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 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.

The AO is an umbrella call organised around specific macro-areas, the current one to be addressed is Social Inclusion.

The use-case Social Inclusion has been defined in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Education (MI)

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. 

KEY FOCUS AREAS

Disability inclusion

Children might be affected by physical and/or mental impairment, which impact the way how the student learns. Considering the challenges related to the learning process, the school plays a fundamental role in the development of the student which is even more crucial than in the case of children with no disabilities. The school shall encourage what the children can do rather than looking at what the children cannot do.

Services which are proposed as part of the Disability Inclusion shall be aimed at supporting children, with physical and/or mental disabilities, to be part of a community and at developing a sense of belonging, which will help them in being better prepared for life as adults.

Such solutions should ideally (but not necessarily) target pupils in primary education to support the development of their strengths and gifts since the beginning of their education path.

In this context, the possible integration of vibrotactile-based haptic materials with virtual and augmented reality (VR & AR) tools may allow students to take part in immersive (“touch and feel”) and realistic courses and ad-hoc therapy both in the classroom or remotely when the students cannot be present in the classroom. The use of novel solutions is certainly beneficial when applied to artistic context (i.e., arts, music) at the same time they can support also other subjects.

The choice of the subjects in which apply the proposed solution is for Tenderer in consultation with the engaged schools.

The proposed solutions, exploiting space and non-space technologies, are helpful to support the learning of all students, however the added value brought to the students affected by the disabilities shall be clearly spelled out in the Proposal.

Social and emotional inclusion

Similar to what can happen with children with disabilities, students can go through, a short or long-lasting, situation characterised by lack of social interactions, motivation, and mental fatigue. The causes can be different, for instance, due to difficult family circumstances or due to difficulties of children of immigrant families in settling in a foreign country with a different language and culture.

The same technologies used for the facilitation of the integration of students with disabilities are relevant also in this context. Moreover, terrestrial connectivity, complemented with satellite communication, could bridge the gap between the origin and the hosting country and becoming an instrument to exchange, live or not, information which will turn in an opportunity for the student, who feels less integrated, to show his/her origin and for the other students to learn about a new country.

Training of the teachers

The uptake of any services, which use novel solutions, either space or terrestrial based, shall leverage on adequate training of the teachers (and when relevant of the families). Previous experiences have in fact shown that unfortunately the tools available, for instance, to students which are visually impaired and/or hearing impaired could not be utilised to the maximum extent possible because the necessary knowledge was not owned by all school personnel.

The training of the teachers is therefore essential: any new service(s) proposed by the Tender shall also consider the implementation of this capability, which will take place during the pilot trial.

During the requirements collection and the system and service design phase, the Tenderer shall consider how to transfer the knowledge to teachers (and families when applicable).  

VALUE OF SPACE

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

Satellite Communication (SatCom) can:

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

Satellite Navigation (SatNav) can:

  • Enable applications in the virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (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)

WHAT WE OFFER

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

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

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 the Business Applications and Space Solutions (BASS) Generic Programme Line (GPL) or to the Space for 5G & 6G Strategic Programme Line (5G/6G SPL) under the ARTES 4.0 framework, 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).

Contact information can be found under:

HOW TO APPLY

There are two steps involved in applying to this call:
1. Outline Proposal: the first step is the submission of an Outline Proposal. The Outline Proposal template can be downloaded from 4 April 2022.

Outline Proposals shall be submitted to ESA at the latest on 15 July 2022, EOB (see above notice) at the following email address indicating "School of Tomorrow [Your Project Name]" as subject. 

To: business@esa.int  
Cc: adriana.lucas@esa.int
and to the relevant National Delegation(s)  

2. Full Proposal: Following notification by ESA on the acceptance of the Outline Proposal, the Tenderer may decide to prepare a Full Proposal using the provided template.  Only Full Proposals supported with a “Letter(s) of Authorisation of Funding” (AOF) from National Delegations covering the Full Proposal will be admitted for evaluation. The Full Proposals shall be delivered via “esa-star”.
To submit the Full Proposal on “esa-star”, the following steps are applicable:

  1. Register your team on esa-star today! If your team is made up of more than one company or organisation, each member will need to register. 
  2. Visit esa-star publications and search for this opportunity to download the official tender documentation. official documents will include proposal templates, a draft contract, and additional information about this opportunity.
  3. Create a ‘Bidder Restricted Area’ via esa-star
  4. Use the official documents to prepare your proposal 
  5. Reach out to your National Delegate and request a Letter of Authorisation.
  6. Submit your proposal via esa-star before the appropriate deadline.