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Grant Alert – Space in Response to Humanitarian Crises

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New grant alert: Space in Response to Humanitarian Crises

Space holds remarkable potential to support responses to humanitarian crises – satellites can operate worldwide, including areas with protracted conflict or political instability, to provide synoptic data and unbiased information as well as deliver basic services to vulnerable communities.

Fund Name: Space in Response to Humanitarian Crises

Project Length: Dependent on proposal

Project Value: 50% – 80%

Deadline: 20th May 2022 (could be extended)

The European Space Agency (ESA) is launching this funding opportunity to deliver operational services that support efforts in response to humanitarian crises. ESA will support Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects, which use space assets or space data like remote sensing, global navigation satellite systems, satellite communication or weather satellites.

Relevant Topics

ESA would like to see proposals that focus on any of the following key pillars:

1.    Supporting the physical, emotional, psychological, social, or economic well-being of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). 

Potential services include:

  • access to trusted sources (e.g., humanitarian organisations) for critical advice and information (e.g., on safe corridors, conditions in place of origin, available services and legal assistance)
  • restoration of family and community links
  • access to cash and remittances
  • protection of education provision
  • preservation and/or development of livelihoods in the digital space
  • provision of up-to-date route conditions in a rapidly changing landscape

2.    Supporting organisations to forecast, respond to, and manage humanitarian crises. 

Potential services include:

  • assessment of conditions of critical infrastructure (e.g., hospitals, roads, water supplies, telecommunications networks) in crisis regions
  • provision of secure connectivity to and for field teams
  • tracking of population movements
  • facilitating communications between responders and those in need of assistance
  • mapping of weaponised areas as a proxy for unexploded ordinance
  • dynamic routing services to facilitate access to and from affected areas

3.    Supporting communities hosting displaced people to adapt and respond to the challenges associated with migrant flows

Potential services include:

  • assistance in refugee registration efforts
  • mapping of displaced populations
  • prediction of migrant flows
  • optimisation of local resources and services under stress
  • optimisation of imported resources and aid through digital supply chain

4.    To support post-conflict recovery efforts

Potential services include:

  • assessment of conditions of critical infrastructure and household dwellings
  • recovery of key resources that have been damaged and/or neglected (e.g. agricultural land; power grid; water sources)
  • restoration of safe areas (e.g., clearing of landmines and unexploded ordinance)
  • recovery of contaminated areas (e.g., where shelling has occurred on heavily industrialised areas)
  • restoration of environmental governance


ESA will support Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects under this ‘Announcement of Opportunities’:

Feasibility Studies will allow successful teams to analyse, design and plan their intended service. Studies should last for 6 months and must include a proof of concept.

Demonstration Projects will allow successful teams to put their intended service into practice. Teams will test their service in the market by running a pilot with significant users and, by the end of the project, the service should be operational. Projects should last for 9 months and, due to the pressing nature of this initiative, the service must be rolled out for trial by month 5 of the project.


Satellite Communications (SatCom): 

  • Enable secure connection in remote places without land-based communication channels.
  • Operate as back-up for land-based communications systems
  • Enable machine-to-machine communication in remote areas

Applicants should make it clear in their proposal if they intend to use secure satellite telecommunications.

Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO): 

  • Provides imagery enabling mapping, risk detection and situational awareness
  • Allows remote monitoring of people, objects, and surrounding environments.

Satellite Navigation (SatNav):

  • Provides accurate Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT)
  • Allows tracking and tracing of vehicles, people, and resources.
  • Allows navigation of autonomous vehicles

Intended services can integrate space-based technologies with non-space technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and internet of things (IoT).

Find out more:


Helen Young
Marketing and Communications Officer
Helen is an experienced marketer with a CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing.
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