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News from the South West ESA Business Applications Regional Ambassador

By on

Hello all!

Well this is now my 2nd blog following the roaring success of my first ever blog… which went viral(!)…. well – it went viral in my world with over 100 likes on LinkedIn. Thanks for positive responses I received – I’ll definitely look to keep this going each month.

Hopefully, with a bit of luck and wind we will start to emerge out into the open again soon – I for one am really looking forward to getting back to actually meeting people in 3 dimensions. I’ve been keeping generally quite busy through lockdown and have been out running a lot more. I am considering (just considering mind…) doing an Ultra-Marathon this year – the Classic Quarter – which is 44 miles from the Lizard (most southerly point on the British mainland) to Lands End (most Westerly point)…

Madness! Although it will, however, help me appreciate the wonderful coastline and environment we have in the South West. To be honest, this is why I am especially keen on applications which utilise space-based assets in the monitoring and mitigation of environmental challenges.

Cleaning up Space
When thinking of the environment, we shouldn’t only concern ourselves with the environment on the Earth. Astroscale’s recent launch of their demonstrator mission ELSA-d is a great example of space-based services, which are focused on cleaning up our environment above the Earth. Their demo mission will look to rendezvous with a dummy piece of space-debris and burn it up in the atmosphere. In future they are looking to offer commercial services to help clean up space debris – fantastic!

Goonhilly to Mars

Closer to home in the South West, I thought it was great that Goonhilly Earth Station’s newly commissioned GHY-6 antenna managed to pick up signals from the Mars Perseverance mission during the decent! This antenna is becoming part of the European Space Agency’s wide deep space antenna network – focusing on support deep space satellite operations.


ESA Business Applications news

Hot off the press, I will be organising an ESA Business Applications event on 17 th May (in the morning) to talk all about ESA business applications, open and upcoming tenders, and also the direction negotiation open call process. I’ll be joined by Victoria Christmas from the UK ambassador team who will impart some guidance on the open call process and how to put in a solid Activity Pitch Questionnaire. Keep the date in your diaries!! I’ll be sending out details soon!

OK – now here is the latest with respect to open and upcoming ESA Business Applications tenders.

First thing to note is the recent release of the “Smart and Uncrewed Shipping” tender. This is now OUT, and companies can get 50% funding for great innovative ideas which utilise satellite assets in smart automated marine concepts. The details of the call are here: and-uncrewed-shipping

Smart and Uncrewed Shipping, 50% funded, 15 th March – 15 th Sep 2021

Seeking innovative user-driven solutions relying on advanced technologies such as 5G and satellite PNT (Positioning, Navigation and Timing) supporting smart and uncrewed shipping. Use cases include Secure autonomous vessels operations and/or remote piloting, Digitalization at sea and ports, Predictive maintenance and support to remote operations at sea, Reduction of emissions and environmental impact , Maritime safety and more….


Immersive Reality Kickstart Activity (€60k, 75% funding)

  • Theme 1 (Mixed Reality and Simulation) (Kickstarter, 18 th March – 22 nd April 2021)
  • Theme 2 (Digital Twin and Holograms) (Kickstarter, 22 nd April – 03 rd June 2021)

This proposed Kick-Start focuses on the following types of immersive technologies and themes: mixed reality, simulation, digital twinning and holograms. These technologies have been increasingly utilised in recent years for several applications to enhance the users’ experience and provide digital content tailored to the applications. In particular, this topic has become even more relevant since the COVID outbreak, with many businesses using immersive solutions to run simulations, for staff training and inductions courses.

The UK is focused on only supporting the Simulation element within Theme1 and the Hologram element within Theme 2.


NHS Future Hospitals Initiative, 50% funding, 1 st April 2021 – 30 th Sept 2022

This newly opened tender is ongoing to September 2022 and is focused on considering innovated space-enabled solutions that contributes towards shaping the NHS Future Hospital project initiative, recently kicked off by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Such activities may include products and services addressing:

  • Logistical aspects (e.g. track and trace of goods, smart transportation)
  • Improved patients reach (e.g. tele-rehabilitation, tele-homecare)
  • Space-derived diagnostic tools (e.g. imaging and monitoring solutions)
  • Diagnostic collaboration networks (e.g. Artificial Intelligence assisted diagnostic service, transportable point of care solutions)
  • Services for improving environmental impacts (e.g. renewable energy, water treatment, air quality)

Circular Economy – Kickstart activity (€60k, 75% funding)

  • Part 1: Circular Food and Drinks (03 May – 18 June 2021)
  • Part 2: Circular Fashion and Textiles (03 May – 18 June 2021) – UK
  • Part 3: Circular Urban Life (21 June – 06 August)
  • Part 4: Circular Waste Systems (21 June – 06 August 2021)

Most organisations today operate in a linear way. A company takes resources, makes a product, and sells it to the customer, who then disposes of the product when it is no longer wanted. This model operates as though there are infinite resources and it generates a lot of waste. A circular economy, on the other hand, treats resources as though they are finite and is based on a make, use and return model. Each resource is used in a way that maximises value to the economy and minimises damage to the environment. The circular model is based on three principles:

  • Design out waste and pollution
  • Keep products and materials in use
  • Regenerate natural systems

The European Space Agency’s “Circular Economy” Kick-Start competition offers funding of up to €60k to teams who have ideas relating to the circular
economy and use satellite data or space technologies. The UK is focused on only supporting the Fashion and Textiles element of the call.


Intelligent Transport, 50% funding up to 1M Euro, 18th January – 24 th May 2021

Tender for Feasibility Study or a Demonstration Project addressing the theme of Intelligent Transport systems. The concept of smart cities transmuting into digital societies, and transport systems indispensable for making the life of citizens easier. Four key focus areas: Sustainable and Safe Mobility Based on Advanced Traffic Management Systems, Advanced Traveller Advisory System, Advanced and Safe Public Transportation System, Advanced Rail Transport Management Systems


Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) Applications, 50% funding, open call to 2025

Feasibility study or Demonstration project focusing on utilsiing space based services for safety and security applications. Areas of applications include (but not limited to) Transport (maritime, aviation, rail, road – manned & unmanned), Essential Services and Critical infrastructures (utilities, finance, health system, logistics), Public Safety (emergency services, fire brigade, law enforcement, civil protection)


Space Resources, 19 th April – 30 th June 2021

In-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) concepts considering mining concepts used on Earth that can apply to Space in the future. This includes things like reducing use of Water in Mining, solar powered mining machinery, remote and autonomous operations, agile and precise mining equipment. UK is not directly supporting this fully funded call but UK teams are still welcome to apply for 50% funding via Direct Negotiation on this topic via the Open call (see below…).

There is also the open call for any innovative idea or application which is commercially focused and utilises space based assets. 50% funding is available from 60k Euro up to 1M Euro+. Contact me or use this link for more details on this:

So that’s all from me this month. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any interest in any of the above, or if you have anything interesting to share!
Have fun!
Andy W.

The South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications is based in Cornwall with the University of Exeter as the lead delivery partner.
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