ESA title

How to apply


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.


  • Zero-equity funding (from €60k to €3M+ per activity).
  • Personalised support from a member of the ESA team.
  • 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 calls 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. There is a generic open call for proposals, permanently open and where you are free to propose services/applications in any sector. There may be thematic calls, open for a limited period and addressing specific needs or themes identified with one or more of our partners. Activities are always in Direct Negotiation.

Click here for more information about the Open Call for Proposals.

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.

See a list of Competitive Tenders on this webpage under ‘Competitive Tenders’.

Additional Details

To make the process as smooth as possible, ESA will guide you  through each step of the application. 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

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

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 ESA-STAR system.

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

To date, these countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Please check ESA STAR Publication for the precise list of participating member states for each opportunity.

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.