Demonstration Projects


Status: Active
Deadline: 31 December 2025

Demonstration Projects are dedicated to the implementation of pre-operational demonstration services within the ESA Business Applications programme, which therefore comply with the following requirements: they are user driven (including user involvement and contribution), they benefit from the integrated use of one or more space assets, with clear potential to become sustainable in the post project phase.

The Demonstration Project duration depends on the complexity of the activity and is typically between 12 and 24 months. Assuming the Demonstration Project is successful, after the completion of the contract with ESA it is expected to evolve into an operational service. For more information on the financial support of ESA’s Business Applications programme see Funding Schemes.

The duration of the end-to-end process is different from project to project and it depends on the time taken by the applicant team to prepare the OP and FP, as well as any necessary iterations. The following diagram aims to give an overview of the different steps and the expected response time from ESA.

Before engaging in more detailed elaboration of a potential outline or full proposal, the Activity Pitch Questionnaire allows the Tenderer in a reduced, standardised pitch form to present his initial idea to ESA, and it allows ESA to quickly take an informed decision on the next steps pointing the Tenderer to the most appropriate activity stream and providing support on the further implementation steps.

Since authorisation from the National Delegation(s) of the countries in which industrial partners (i.e. Prime and Subcontractors) reside will be required at the level of the Full Proposal, it is strongly suggested that potential bidders liaise with the National Delegation(s) as soon as possible in the process.

Please, note that the Activity Pitch Questionnaire may be also provided by the Agency to the National Delegations for coordination purposes. Submitting an APQ is deemed given consent to share this information with the National Delegation.

Following the acceptance by ESA of the Activity Pitch Questionnaire and the indications provided by ESA concerning which eventual route to choose from (i.e. Feasibility Study or Demonstration Project), the second step requires the submission of an Outline Proposal, which will be evaluated by ESA, and feedback will be provided to the Tenderer in due time. External experts may be involved in the evaluation in order to coordinate activities with those carried out within the European Union, Participating States or any other relevant European actors, of which the Agency has been made aware.

There is no formal deadline to submit an Outline Proposal while the call is open. However, note that at this stage ESA prepares a special document for their Joint Communications Board (JCB) (Member States’ Steering Board), which meets every mid-February, mid-May, mid-September and mid-November. This document summarises the proposed study in about four pages, shows how it complies with the eligibility criteria for an IAP activity and requests the Board’s approval.

Once the clarification / discussion points originating from the Outline Proposal evaluation have been sufficiently addressed and the associated project dossier prepared by ESA Technical Officer passed the above mentioned board, the proponent will be invited to submit the Full Proposal.

The Outline Proposal Template can be downloaded from documents and shall be submitted to the assigned Technical Officer.

The Tenderer will be informed by ESA and may decide to prepare a Full Proposal according to ESA feedback and in accordance with chapter II of Appendix 1 (Special Conditions of Tender).

Only Full proposals accompanied with a “Letter(s) of Authorisation of Funding” (AOF) covering the full proposal will be admitted for evaluation. The Full proposals shall be delivered via “esa-star”.

The Full Proposal will be evaluated by a Tender Evaluation Board (TEB). In case of a positive proposal evaluation the TEB recommends the contract implementation pending potential clarifications points identified by the TEB. ESA will communicate the results of the TEB including an invitation for the negotiation meeting in case of a positive TEB outcome.

Upon successful negotiation, the project kick-off will be agreed and the contract will be sent for signature.

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