The EAS Estonian Space Office announces a Call for Ideas for mapping projects and topics that are of interest to Estonian companies and academia acting in the space sector. The collected ideas will be used for creating a roadmap for upcoming European Space Agency (ESA) Industry Incentive Scheme (IIS) calls.
The Estonian IIS is part of the European Space Agency’s measures, which aim to support the integration of Estonia as a new member state to ESA programmes and improve the capability of Estonian actors to compete with other ESA member states. Unlike the majority of ESA programmes, in the case of the IIS Estonian companies and academic institutions do not compete with other ESA member states.
The Estonian IIS has previously funded projects such as development of the Skeleton Technologies OÜ supercondensators in cooperation with Thales Alenia Space. With support from IIS, Datel AS has developed the remote sensing application Sille, which can be used for monitoring infrastructure from space. The scientific institution UT Tartu Observatory is developing a prototype for a scientific grade Earth observation imager with two spectral bands using a common lens, two sensors, and optical beam splitting technology.
During the first years of the Estonian IIS in 2016 – 2018 projects could be submitted via permanently open call. This approach has been replaced by the definition of roadmaps of activities, agreed by the Estonian-ESA Task Force. In preparation for the next round of selection for the Roadmaps, the Estonian Space Office is gathering ideas directly from Estonian industry and academia via this call for ideas. It is expected that a total of 3-5 ideas will be selected.
Ideas can be submitted from 1 October to 15 November 2019 by completing and submitting the Idea Submission Form. The proposed ideas must form a clear path to one or more of the objectives given in the Cover Letter: enabling long lasting, sustainable Estonian return on ESA’s mandatory programme or ESA’s Earth Observation programmes, entry into the supply chain of a customer or enabling a long lasting, sustainable space business for an Estonian company. Ideas should adhere to topics such as downstream applications relying on satellite data, exploitation of Estonian ICT competences (artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, machine learning, big data etc), product or process qualification, groud service provision, flight hardware and development of independent flight / critical software validation competences. The maximum cost of each project for ESA should remain under 200 000 euros, however the total cost may be larger in case of co-financing by the proposing entity.
An information day will take place on 7 October in Öpiku Conference Centre in Tallinn, with the aim to provide a more detailed overview of the Call for Ideas. At the information day, ESA Head of Section New, Associate and Cooperating States Mr Stephen P. Airey will give an overview of the Estonian IIS and provide useful advice for completing the Idea Submission Form. Participants are also welcome to sign up for a one-to-one consultation with Mr Stephen P. Airey to receive feedback about a specific idea. The information day is the best opportunity to ask for clarifications about the call for ideas and requirements applicable to ideas.