What We Do

Our mission is to connect Europe.

We join engineers, entrepreneurs and investors to forge strong links between institutions, industries, and businesses. We leverage Europe’s space capabilities to drive digital connectivity, augment our sovereignty, and foster the sustainable use of our resources. Our pride is in the solutions we bring to air, land and sea, our emerging 5G/6G, quantum, laser, edge and cloud solutions, our energy, agriculture, e-education, security and tele-medicine platforms. ESA`s business incubators fuel New Space startups and form one of the largest space solutions networks in the world. We attract top talent, fuel innovation, secure public and private funding of our programmes, and support their downstream commercialization. We make the case for space. 

Europe needs a strong space sector. The European Space Agency (ESA), the European Union (EU) and the European Commission share the objective to sustainably support Europe`s space industry, foster its growth and grow its global market share and economic weight. We fuel innovation, we support industry, entrepreneurs and startups, and we drive the development of space technologies and their translation into viable and value-adding applications and business models on Earth.


Space for 5G & 6G

5G boosts connectivity, generates business and brings added value to consumers and citizens. ESA, the European industry and the EU join forces to integrate satellite technologies into communications networks to accelerate the rollout, reach and impact of 5G.

Space for Safety & Security

There’s no safety on Earth without safety in space. We work on secure space systems to integrate them into seamless operations on Earth. Climate and civil surveillance and protection, routine and crisis management systems via air, land, and sea: we test, launch and show safety and security that is ‘made in and for’ Europe.

Space for Optical & Quantum Communications

Optical and quantum technologies are the next revolution for our connectivity and for an ultra-fast and secure data exchange. We kick-start the development of new and disruptive technologies, fuel innovation, and mastermind public-private partnerships. 

Europe needs a strong partner in space. Through its strategic programme lines and its large business network for space solutions, ESA acts as an agent, an incubator and an enabler for a new space on Earth. We want to cultivate space to preserve our planet for the generations to come.



About ARTES 4.0 Programme

By stimulating R&D and forging partnerships, TIA and the ARTES 4.0 programme enable European and Canadian industry to develop innovative products, services, applications and even whole systems that give them a leading edge in a highly competitive global market.

Entities within ESA Member States, whether large or small, new or experienced, can submit proposals to the various elements of the ARTES 4.0 programme, following its funding framework and criteria. The elements evolve over time, with their current grouping shown below.

Core Competitiveness is dedicated to the development, qualification and demonstration of products (“Competitiveness and Growth”), or long-term technology development (“Advanced Technology”). Products in this context can be an equipment for the platform or payload of a satellite, a user terminal, or a full telecom system integrating a network with its space segment.

ESA Partnership Projects provide the Satcom industry with an efficient framework for bringing innovative, large-scale products and systems into the marketplace through public-private partnerships. They can address space and/or ground segments. Examples with recent or imminent launches include the European Data Relay System (EDRS); the Satellite Automatic Identification System (SAT-AIS); and the Next Generation Platform (Neosat), which includes both Spacebus NEO (with TAS) and Eurostar NEO (with ADS). Other projects awaiting launch include: Eutelsat Quantum; Electra; Pacis 3 (part of ESA’s Govsatcom Precursor programme); and QKDSAT for Quantum Key Distribution. Past projects that have already launched are the Large Programme Mission (Alphasat, with Inmarsat); and SmallGEO.

Business Applications and Space Solutions (BASS) is dedicated to the development of sustainable businesses, services and applications that make use of space assets, for implementation across all market sectors ranging from agriculture to transport and from energy to finance. It offers co-funding for product and service development, supports access to private finance, and includes ESA’s national and regional network of Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs), Innovation Brokers and Applications Ambassadors.

Future Preparation is dedicated to strategic and market analysis, technology and system feasibility studies and the support of satellite communication standards.