ESA title


    Smart cities are multi-actor ecosystems devoted to creating sustainable and resilient urban areas for the benefit of the society and the local and global economy.


    The current global population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, and 9.8 billion in 2050, most of whom will live in cities. The interface between urban growth, technology, infrastructure and capital requirement presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges to the implementation of smart cities where Space Downstream Applications have an important role to play. Becoming a smart city is not only a goal, but rather a necessity!

    Space verticals have a key role to play in the smart city ecosystem as a technological enabler, at the core of cost-efficient business models. Sensors use   satellite connectivity  in the smart cities grid market (e.g. smart transport, energy grid, waste management, connected vehicles…). Modern navigation systems have a key role in the transport and mobility sector (e.g. real time transport information, urban traffic modelling, autonomous and intelligent vehicles…). Earth observation data is open to a huge portfolio of business opportunities in several sectors (e.g. urban planning, climate changes challenges, sustainable urban agriculture, infrastructure and building business as well as disaster and security issues).  Telecommunication satellite systems have useful attributes for 5G in terms of security, resilience, coverage, mobility and delivery of broadband. By 2025, the World Economic Forum estimates 26-30 billion devices in the home and workplace will be connected to the internet, and equipped with sensors, processors and embedded software. In this context, the choice of communication technology should be transparent to the end user and based upon location, type of service and cost efficiency. 5G thus provides a major opportunity for the space sector to deliver parts of the future generation of communications networks and services.

    ESA has already a relevant position in the smart cities ecosystem with a portfolio of activities ongoing or planned in support. Considering the constant growth both from a geographical and economic point of view, ESA is engaged to reinforce its contribution to the smart cities ecosystem.



    Under NAVISP Element 2, the Agency issues this permanently open Call for Proposals for the development of innovative competitive products in the Satellite Navigation and wider Position, Navigation and Timing domain. The objective is to boost Member States’ industrial competitiveness in the fast- evolving navigation sector. Proposals are welcome from space and non-space companies, from large and small enterprises and start-ups. Products can address satellite space segment, ground infrastructure and user segment including applications and services. Industry and research institutions of interested participating States are therefore invited to submit Outline Proposals for the development of pre-operational products matching their strategies and plans. Upon positive assessment of their Outline Proposal, they will be invited to submit the Full Proposal which will be evaluated once a Support Letter from the relevant national Delegation is received. The Tendering process details and the guidelines for preparing the Outline and Full Proposals are described in the AO.

    This is a call of the  Navigation Innovation and Support Programme (NAVISP) Programme Element 2. 

    For more information and access to the open call for proposal documents see esa-star webpage.

    The objective of the call is to provide a framework to rapidly respond to new innovative ideas.

    The scope of the call covers elements of Block 4 of Future EO-1 Segment 1.

    The particular focus for innovative activities under each element is as follows:

    1. Grand Science Challenges
    2. EO for a Resilient Society
    3. Artificial Intelligence for EO
    4. Regional Initiatives
    5. EO for Civil Security

    Any individual contract will be limited to a Firm Fixed Price of up to 150KEuro and to a maximum duration of 12 months.

    Bidders will be required to demonstrate the innovative content of their proposals and, where appropriate, the engagement of relevant stakeholders. For proposals related to Grand Science Challenges, bidders will be also required to demonstrate scientific excellence of the proposed activity.

    Learn more about this Invitation To Tender on esa-star.

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