VDE - Assessing the Potential of Future Maritime Applications in the Context of VDE (VHF Data Exchange System)

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  • EMITS referenceAO8593
  • ActivityFeasibility Study
  • Closing date02 September 2016

The maritime community is embarking on a new maritime data exchange mechanism: the VHF Data Exchange System, or VDES. VDES will provide robust Ship-to-Ship and Ship-to-Shore communications, and  facilitate the introduction of new applications and services significantly improving maritime communications and information exchange for the  institutional and commercial maritime user community . Space capabilities (Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation) can be instrumental in the development of these new services.

The objective of the study is to identify and specify new viable and sustainable maritime services using VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) and combining space (minimum two space assets) and non-space assets. The technical feasibility and commercial viability of the identified services shall be evaluated and a Business Case shall be built. A roadmap for the follow-up of the study shall eventually be proposed in view of the operational services,  The activity shall rely on the consultation of relevant institutional and commercial user and stakeholder groups (such as EU and national bodies, ship owners and operators, insurance brokers, etc).

ESA Tender Information

Responding to an open competitive Invitation to Tender (ITT) requires the submission of a Full Proposal. The submission of the Full Proposal initiates the evaluation process according to ESA regulations and procedures.

The consequential evaluation of proposals results in a recommendation for a winning bid. In the case that several proposals of sufficient quality targeting different and/or complementary aspects are submitted, the Agency reserves the right to place parallel contracts for each of the open competitive ITTs in coordination with the relevant national delegations and partners involved in case of external funding.

For the fully detailed Proposal Guide on competitive ITTs click: Open Competition

Registration as Bidder

The Prime and all subcontractors must register as potential bidders via esa-star, prior to downloading the official tender documents from EMITS and submitting the Full Proposal. The registration process needs to be started as soon as possible, as it will take time to complete.


Funding Scheme

Funded participation to ESA Business Applications is open to any company and/or organisation, be it as group of users, public body or non-governmental organisation, residing in any of those states that subscribe to the ARTES IAP programme.

To date, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have subscribed.

The applicable funding level of the individual prime- or subcontractors is subject to authorisation by the involved National Delegation(s). Therefore bidding teams are requested to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from all their national delegations before submitting a Full Proposal.


ESA Project Cost Funding Per Country
(up to)

Tenderer and/or third party contribution

Funding Limit/ Activity Duration

Feasibility Study 100% 0%  
Demonstration Project 50% 50%  
Kick-start Activity 75% 25% 60 kEuro/
6 months