Proposal Guide - Open Competition

The standard procedure for placing contracts with ESA is the Open Competition. In this case, ESA is inviting companies and organisations to submit a Full Proposal in response to a particular subject as defined by the Agency in coordination with the needs and requirements of the user community collaborating with ESA.

Open competitive ITTs cover one of the following activities:

  • Feasibility Studies (100% funded by ESA) provide the preparatory framework to identify, analyse and define new potentially sustainable applications and services. They have to be compliant with the following requirements: they are user driven, they benefit from the utilisation of one or more space assets and the tenderer intends to pursue a Demonstration Project after successful completion of the Feasibility Study.
  • Demonstration Projects (50% co-funded by ESA) are dedicated to the implementation of pre-operational demonstration services, which have to comply with the following requirements: they are user driven (including user involvement and contribution), they benefit from the utilisation of one or more space assets with clear potential to become commercially viable in the post project phase.

Having registered on esa-star – ESA’s System for Tendering And Registration as potential bidder, login to EMITS - ESA's Electronic Mail Invitation to Tender System with your received account information and download the official tender documentation as listed under the specific EMITS reference number. This package includes:

  • Letter of Invitation
  • Appendix 1 - Statement of Work
  • Appendix 2 - Contract Conditions (Draft Contract)
  • Appendix 3 - Special Conditions of Tender

Please consider as well any relevant clarifications beyond these tender documents, as well as the General Conditions of Tender for ESA Contract and General Clauses and Conditions for ESA Contracts available in the reference documentation.

Preparing the Full Proposal

  1. Pre-requisite for acceptance of a Full Proposal by ESA is the presence of a formal Letter of Authorisation from the National Delegation(s) of every country in which a member of the submitting team (Prime and subcontractors) is located. Such letter(s) must be coordinated with and requested from the delegation as soon as possible, as this process takes time and can delay the proposal submission.
  2. The Full Proposal and all supporting documents must be submitted in accordance with the requirements of the specific Letter of Invitation.
  3. The proposal is formally evaluated by a Tender Evaluation Board (TEB). If considered acceptable, ESA will invite the bidder(s) to a Negotiation Meeting, identifying in advance the elements subject to negotiation. If the Negotiation Meeting is successful, it represents the earliest date for an official Kick-off meeting (the contractor might decide to start the activity at a later date). If the proposal is not initially acceptable, then clarification questions and suggestions for improvement will be addressed to the bidder(s). The answers will undergo a delta-evaluation, before the bidders are invited to a Negotiation Meeting. Otherwise the procurement process will be stopped.
  4. In the Negotiation Meeting, the negotiation points will be discussed. The Negotiation Meeting is considered successful only if all negotiation points are closed satisfactorily.
  5. In addition, the draft contract will be discussed and specific information gaps will be filled. After the Negotiation Meeting, the bidder will receive a draft finalised version of the contract which has to be check for any errors. The bidder has to provide feedback to ESA if the contract is correct. With this feedback and after completion of the ESA internal administrative approval the final version of the contract will be issued and signed by ESA, and then sent out to the bidder for signature.

Final remarks

All proposals received by ESA are treated confidential. ESA selection procedures are compliant with the criteria of transparency, impartiality and non-discrimination. ESA evaluates project proposals and provides the participants with feedback. Once the proposal is accepted, a contract is signed between ESA and the participant.