Funding Opportunity: Support to Private Initiatives for End-to-End Satcom Solutions with Security, Safety and/or Sovereignty Requirements

The Earth surrounded by secure connectivity

esa-star reference: 918 & 919
Opening date: 28 February 2024


Over the years, private initiatives led by new or established actors and aimed at developing end-to-end communication services addressing specific needs of institutional actors or regulated economic sectors have emerged in Europe and Canada.

Examples of targeted missions and systems include (but are not limited to): 

  • AERO C-band system for aviation regulated (safety) cockpit and command/control communications.
  • Aeronautical surveillance mission based on, for example, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), possibly combined with very high frequency (VHF) communications as a key enabler for aviation safety.
  • Ultra high frequency (UHF) communications system for governmental applications (e.g. public safety, crisis management).
  • Automatic Identification System (AIS) maritime surveillance or VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) connectivity as a key enabler for maritime safety and maritime domain awareness.
  • Radio frequency (RF) signal or spectrum monitoring services for wireless telecommunications infrastructure protection.
  • RF signals, including those from maritime VHF transceivers, personal transceivers, satellite phones, maritime and airplane radars, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) electromagnetic interferences, emergency beacons, ADS-B signals, as well as detection and characterisation services for maritime and aviation safety, law enforcement, humanitarian or disaster relief.
  • Terrestrial Network (TN) and Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) connectivity solutions for automotive mobility safety use cases, such as e-call, road safety, safety-related traffic efficiency, advanced safety for automated driving.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity systems for monitoring critical assets and infrastructure.

To satisfy the target customers, these services shall comply with specific security, resilience and/or sovereignty requirements.

This new Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) opportunity aims to foster the development by European and Canadian private actors of such satellite communications missions and systems.



Industry is invited to submit proposals for system studies aimed at consolidating end-to-end satellite communications missions and system concepts aimed at serving applications with security, safety and/or sovereignty requirements, and preparing the following development and deployment steps.

Download the Call for Proposal Document


Industry is invited to submit proposals for initiating early development of technologies and products critical for the development of infrastructures providing satellite communication services for applications with safety, security and/or sovereignty requirements. Any development in the areas of ground, space, system are considered. 

Download the Call for Proposal Document


We offer funding and technical support to companies for system studies and development of technologies and products addressing the key areas outlined above.

ESA support will be based on a co-funding scheme where the funding levels will take into consideration product maturity and the risks involved.


This call is open to Industry within ESA Member States participating in the 4S Strategic Programme Line, namely: Austria (AT), Belgium (BE), Canada (CA), Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Estonia (EE), Finland (FI), France (FR), Germany (DE), Greece (GR), Hungary (HU), Ireland (IE), Italy (IT), Luxembourg (LU), the Netherlands (NL), Norway (NO), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Spain (ES), Switzerland (CH), and the United Kingdom (UK).


There are two steps involved in applying to this call:

1. Outline Proposal: the first step is the submission of an Outline Proposal. Outline Proposals can be submitted any time during the opening period, and will be assessed promptly by ESA.

2. Full Proposal: Following notification from ESA on the acceptance of the Outline Proposal, the Tenderer may decide to prepare a Full Proposal using the provided template.  Only Full Proposals supported with a “Letter(s) of Authorisation of Funding” (AOF) from National Delegations covering the Full Proposal will be admitted for evaluation. The Full Proposals shall be delivered via “esa-star.”

Companies interested in proposing a project are strongly advised to contact their national delegations in advance to start the process of obtaining an Authorisation of Funding.

In addition, interested parties are advised to start the registration of their team on esa-star as soon as possible as it may take some time. If a team is made up of more than one company or organisation, each member will need to register.

For more information download the 4S initiatives documentation under the relevant focus area and join our Webinar.


A webinar is scheduled for 19 March at 11:00 CET. Please use the register button below to sign up for it.

Register for the Webinar


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