How to apply

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Who we're looking for

Despite working in space, we have our feet firmly on the ground when it comes to business and we expect our partners to be the same.

We’re looking for teams that have identified a market opportunity that’s attractive and has real potential for engaging customers. Motivation, business experience and industry domain expertise are key.

But most importantly of all, we want to hear business ideas that are commercially viable, technically possible and involve either space tech or data.

What we offer

  • Zero-equity funding (from €60k to €2M+ per activity).
  • A personalised ESA consultant.
  • Technical & commercial guidance.
  • Access to our network of partners. 
  • Credibility of the ESA brand.

How to Apply

Businesses can apply for funding from ESA Business Applications in two main ways: through our Open Call for Proposals and through our Competitive Tenders. In both cases, you are expected to already be engaged in commercial or developmental activities within your target sectors. If you are an individual person or company, you may wish to partner with others in order to increase your ability to deliver end-to-end solutions.    

Open call for proposals

You propose your ideas directly to ESA, setting out the opportunity you wish to pursue.  These applications will each be considered on their own merit. The first step is for you to complete an Activity Pitch Questionnaire (APQ) and send it to ESA at business@esa.int.

Click here to download Activity Pitch Questionnaire (APQ)

Competitive Tenders

You submit your proposal in response to one of our regular open competitions. These are directed at a specific problem or opportunity raised by us. Each application received is assessed in competition with other proposal applications.

Click here to learn how much financial support your project could receive

Click here to see which funding opportunities are currently open

Additional Details

To make the process as smooth as possible, we’ll go through everything step-by-step with you. We also have “Ambassadors” in many of our Member States that can help you in the early stages of your proposal submission and provide independent advice.

Click here to see more about our ESA Business Applications Ambassadors and where they are located

In order to obtain funding from ESA, your company will need to be registered with us on our ESA-STAR system.

In addition, access to all of our current and upcoming tenders is available on EMITS (“Electronic Mailing Invitation to Tender System”).

Please note that funding participation is open to groups, organisations and businesses that reside in ESA member states that subscribe to the program.

To date, these countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The size and nature of any potential funding involved is subject to authorisation by the involved National Delegation(s). As a result, bidding teams need to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from their national delegations, and include it as part of their full proposal.

To view all documents related to submitting a proposal see here.