European Space Agency

Competitiveness & Growth Overview

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The ARTES Competitiveness & Growth programme element (ARTES C&G) is dedicated to the development, verification and demonstration of products for the satellite telecommunications market.

Products could be any hardware, software, system or sub-system or services. 

Contracts are awarded on the basis of proposals made by industry for the development of products for future commercial exploitation. 

The ARTES Competitiveness & Growth programme element supports four Development Phases:

  1. The ARTES Competitiveness & Growth programme aims to improve the competitiveness of the ESA Member States’ satcom industries.The Definition Phase supports industry in the initial definition and top level design of the product, along with anysystems engineering that may be required to define it and to identify the optimal solution for the target market.
  2. The Technology Phase supports industry in mitigating key technical risks. This phase excludes qualification for space equipment and industrialisation of ground equipment.
  3. The Product Phase supports the development and verification of the product to make it ready for commercialisation in its intended operational environment.
  4. The Demonstration Phase supports market entry for space products (Atlas) and the validation of ground segment products in the operational environment.

The maximum funding limits for each phase are aligned with the risk associated with those phases and specially supports Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

ARTES Competitiveness & Growth Phases

Financial Support – Co-funding levels and industrial-academic collaboration

It’s important to note that specific funding levels apply when universities and research institutes without commercial interest are involved in a project. This allows industry to work closely with these partners in developing new products, fostering innovation and industrial-academic collaboration.

An overview of the maximum funding levels for each Development Phase is provided below: 

Please note that the funding level for an activity is subject to the discretion of ESA and the National Delegation concerned, up to the maximum level identified in the table above. 

Advantages of multiple phases

The ARTES C&G industry-driven programme with its four Development Phases encompasses the complete product development cycle; from the idea to the final product. Moving from one phase to the next is simplified and the concept allows work in parallel (phases can overlap) to streamline the product development. A contract can be simply extended via a Contract Change Notice (CCN) in line with the needs of the targeted product development.

“The arrangement follows closely the typical product development cycle of Satcom industry, allows the allocation of funding in line with the risks and offers National Delegations flexibility when allocating funding,”
Dietmar Schmitt, Head of the Technologies and Products Division, Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Directorate, ESA

The business plan for proposals shall be commensurate with the development status. An activity with a low starting TRL proposed in the Technology Phase therefore does not need to include the type of detailed business plan that is required for later development phases.

Take the initiative!

To apply for ARTES C&G, industry has to set the wheels in motion. The first step is to prepare an Outline Proposal and Financial Forecast Workbook, using the templates provided, and submit these to artes-cg@esa.int. In just 10 working days ESA will provide feedback.

Proposals are confidential and negotiated directly. The corresponding ARTES C&G ‘Call for Proposals’ (CfP) is always open. The current revision is 2.1 is available online on EMITS  (Invitation to Tender AO8793). To download the documents, registration on esa-star is required. 

Eligibility requirements

To submit an ARTES Competitiveness & Growth proposal, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. A significant part of the business case shall address the satcom. Proposed developments can be an end-to-end satcom system, the improvement or development of a satcom Ground Segment product such as a user terminal or gateway equipment. For the Space Segment, you may wish to improve or develop a satellite platform, a software, an advanced test system, an attitude and orbit control sub-system, a payload, an amplifier or any other satellite equipment. The development and operation of a small satellite (up to 5 Mio ESA price in Atlas) demonstrating the required functions in orbit is also supported.
  2. ESA will only admit proposals for evaluation that come from companies or organisations – whether as Prime or Subcontractor – residing in one of the following countries:

    Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

  3. It is mandatory that companies (both Prime Contractor and Subcontractor(s)) obtain formal authorisation from their National Delegation to carry out the proposed activity.