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The official information platform for providing potential bidders all the relevant documentation and details concerning the intended and issued Invitations To Tender (ITTs) for Open Competitions and Direct Negotiations is
EMITS - ESA's Electronic Mail Invitation to Tender System - managed and operated by the ESA Procurement Department.

Having registered on esa-star as potential bidder, login to EMITS with your received account information and download the official tender documentation of the ARTES 3-4: Telecom - Products Programme - Call For Proposals (AO5891)

  • Letter of Invitation
  • Appendix 1 – Special Conditions of Tender for the Telecom - Products Programme:
    • Annex A – Content of the Outline Proposal
    • Annex B – Content of the Study Proposal
    • Annex E – Content of the Full Proposal for Satcom Applications
  • Appendix 2 - Draft Contract (including Management Requirements)

Please consider as well any relevant clarifications beyond these tender documents, as well as the General Conditions of Tender for ESA Contract and General Clauses and Conditions for ESA Contracts available in the reference documentation.

Responding to the Call for Proposals ON SATCOM-APPS

The ARTES Satcom Applications (SATCOM-APPS) Projects proposed in response to the open Call for Proposals on ARTES Telecom - Products Programme must be relevant to promote the adoption and utilisation of satellite telecommunications. To participate, a number of administrative and submission related steps/requirements must be followed. Contracts may be awarded for proposals from applicants wishing to develop products aligned with plans for future exploitation.

Entry points for proposals within ARTES 3-4 SATCOM-APPS

There are two possible entry points to the ARTES SATCOM-APPS programme, as illustrated above. The classical entry point is submitting an Outline Proposal. Following a successful Outline Proposal, the Agency will invite the tenderer to submit a Full Proposal or a Study Proposal, if a Study Activity is judged necessary. The second possible entry point is the direct submission of a Study Proposal.


  1. Responding to the SATCOM-APPS Call for Proposal on the Telecom - Products Programme shall start with the submission of an Outline Proposal. The "ARTES SATCOM-APPS - Outline Proposal Template" provides a template structure for your outline proposal. It can be downloaded from the Documents section.
  2. Outline Proposal Development ToolAn interactive online guide, the Outline Proposal Development Tool, has been specifically designed to help the applicant to prepare Outline Proposals. The online guide provides eleven modules, each addressing a specific section of the Outline Proposal. Tutorials, tools, worksheets, tips and techniques are provided inside each module in order to help creating the Outline Proposal. To access the toolkit, you must be a registered user on the ARTES website. The use of this tool is highly recommended in the process of submitting an outline proposal.
  3. Submit the Outline Proposal by email to, which must be done in accordance with Annex A of the Special Conditions of Tender.
  4. The Outline Proposal represents the starting point for interaction between ESA and you. ESA staff reviews the Outline Proposal and provide feedback to you.  In case clarifications are required, you are invited to submit a revised version.
  5. Based on ESA’s review, when the Outline Proposal is considered acceptable, ESA informs the National Delegations of the envisaged prime and subcontractors involved in the project.


  6. Following the approval of the Outline Proposal, applicants are invited to submit a Full Proposal, which shall be submitted in accordance with the requirements of the tender documentation. The requirements regarding the content of a full proposal are contained in the Special Conditions of Tender - Content of the Full Proposal for Satcom Applications  (Appendix 1E).
  7. One pre-requisite for approval of a Full Proposal by ESA is the submission of a formal Letter of Support, confirming acceptance of financial coverage, from the ESA National Delegation(s) of the prime and subcontractors. Such letter(s) shall be coordinated with and requested from the National Delegation(s) as soon as possible, as this process takes time and can delay the proposal submission.
  8. Prior to submitting a Full Proposal, the prime and all subcontractors must also register as potential bidders with ESA via esa-star and obtain an entity code. Every subcontractor must be registered as a company or similar entity under their own national legislation. This process needs to be started as soon as possible, as it will take time to complete it.
  9. Obtain a Letter of Commitment from all participants who are not subcontractors. These are the users/stakeholders, whose active involvement in the project is proposed.
  10. The Full Proposal must be submitted to the Head of the Telecoms Contracts Service according to what is indicated in the Letter of Invitation of the “Invitation to Tender”.
  11. The proposal is formally evaluated by a Tender Evaluation Board (TEB).  Please note that such evaluation meetings are pre-scheduled. At the evaluation meetings all proposals submitted before a certain date and accepted for evaluation will be reviewed.  The deadlines for proposals submission are indicated on EMITS within the clarifications to the “Invitation to Tender”.
  12. If your proposal is judged acceptable by the TEB, you will be invited to a Negotiation Meeting. In case clarifications are required, you will receive a list of clarification points to be addressed prior or at the negotiation meeting. If the proposal is not considered acceptable, a new full proposal may be resubmitted.

Study Activity

ARTES SATCOM-APPS offers the possibility through Study Activities to perform preparatory work as a means to quickly analyse less mature ideas, to consolidate the technical specifications and to identify technical risks before entering into the development phase. The tenderer shall have firm plans to develop the application in an activity following the work offered in the Study. The follow-on activity shall be planned to develop the application to commercial exploitation readiness.

The procurement process for the Study Proposal follows the same steps as for the full proposal and the requirements regarding its content are contained in the Special Conditions of Tender - Content of the Study Proposal  (Appendix 1, Annex B).

Responding to the Call for Proposals ON ARTES SATCOM-APPS Entry

If your company is a small or medium-sized business from a country participating in the ARTES SATCOM-APPS that has not worked with ESA in the last 10 years, you are eligible to submit a proposal to ARTES Entry. This initiative is designed to support SMEs through the stages of research and development for the satcom market and awards development contracts with financial support up to 75% of the activity cost (max €250,000).

Final remarks

Assuming a good quality of proposals, the total time to complete the application process is typically around 5 months.

All proposals received by ESA are treated as confidential. ESA selection procedures are compliant with the criteria of transparency, impartiality and non-discrimination. ESA evaluates activity proposals and provides the applicants with feedback. Once the proposal is accepted, a contract is signed between ESA and the applicants.