On 16 January, 2018, Geowise organized a morning event about the upcoming fully-funded tenders of the European Space Agency’s Business Applications (formerly IAP) program. In addition, presentations on the ongoing company-led projects and the entire application process were heard.
First, Miranda Saarentaus (Geowise/ESA BA advisor) told in general terms about the Business Applications Program (Presentation, PDF), which build user-oriented projects that utilize one or more space assets. On average, there are 3 to 6 fully-funded Feasibility Study (FS) tenders released per year for open competition. Business Applications (BA) -projects are company-led and user driven and should intend to pursue a Demonstration Project after successful completion of the FS. These tenders are looking for business models, not technical solutions. Calls for proposals are published on selected themes and ESA generally funds several projects in parallel, if the business idea is convincing and all other criteria are well full-filled. The upcoming tenders in 1Q/2018 are:
1. Critical Infrastructure (Document, PDF) – How to protect important infrastructures (e.g. drinking water, communication) to support sustainability. Here noted 5G and environmental technologies.
2. Smart Airports (Document, PDF) – Airports are expanding, becoming more complex, increasing services and challenging the capacity. This tender will be published on 29 January, 2018.
3. Space and Unmanned Maritime Systems (Document, PDF) – This tender includes services to support demining, situation awareness and critical infrastructure protection.
Antti Tyrväinen (Business Finland) pointed out that the tenders must have a real, credible business case with a strong customer demand. The aim of the projects is creating sustainable and profitable services. Business Finland’s goal is to double Finland’s export – so the international dimension must be involved in the tender offer.
Lauri Häme from Satellio presented Satellio’s Business Application project “Shrub Mapping”. The project has just released a video “Satellio takes space into the woods“.
As a second project example was the Wonder -project (Presentation, PDF), presented by Sanna Vaalgamaa, Sitowise. Wonder is a water quality monitoring and reporting service for industry and authorities.
Boris Krassi (Delta Cygni Labs) reported his experience of building an ESA project from the SME perspective. Their idea came from the need of a reliable video communication service for mine workers. The project is the first ARTES Entry project in Finland and it uses only satellite communications as the space component.
Miranda Saarentaus is the advisor of ESA Business Application in Finland. She helps companies and consortium in the project planning and supports the project process from start to end. She also acts as an honest broker between companies and ESA. Please feel free to contact her for more information.