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External funding opportunities

Innovation Fund Small Scale project

European Commission

The present call targets projects on low-carbon technologies and processes in all sectors covered by Directive 2003/87/EC (the EU ETS Directive):

Innovation in low-carbon technologies and processes in sectors listed in Annex I, including environmentally safe carbon capture and utilisation (‘CCU’) that contributes substantially to mitigating climate change,as well as products substituting carbon intensive ones produced in sectors listed in Annex I, environmentally safe capture and geological storage (‘CCS’) of CO2, and innovative renewable energy and energy storage technologies.

The closing date for this funding is 31 August 2022.

Space Based Solar Power Innovation

UK Space Agency

This competition is to support, through grants, the development of technologies associated with space based solar power systems which could potentially contribute to the UK’s Net Zero ambition, some of which may also have terrestrial applications.

The Competition is eligible for all sizes of organisation but the technologies in scope must be between TRL 1-6. Projects can work with international partners, but at least 50% of the project funded must be conducted in the UK.

Closing date 23 September 2022.

Space and Digital Transformation for Green Energy Utilities

ESA Space Solutions

The call for proposals targets the development of space-based services for supporting the digital transformation of the energy utilities sector and enabling the just transition to green energy across business sectors and society. This can help to support interoperability within the sector and the sector’s connectivity with other sectors, especially where critical infrastructure may be used or developed.

Increased urbanisation globally has led institutions and companies to address climate-related problems by dramatically decreasing and mitigating carbon use. The need for ensuring security of energy supply in times of growing energy consumption, energy price volatility, but also the increasing awareness and international commitments for climate change, have led to the creation of an ambitious set of targets and support programmes in Europe.

The energy sector is at the start of a pathway of exponential improvements: digital solutions and enhanced connectivity are fuelling these trends and can play an even greater role through influencing of consumers and business decisions, providing factual based evidence to support policy, decision-making and green investments, and overall enabling purposeful transformation of the energy sector and its transition to circular economy.

Topics covered are et positive environmental impact, social acceptance, circular economy of renewable sector. Monitoring existing renewable capacity: increasing efficiency of green renewable energy and safety of operations. Supporting plans for renewables deployment: planning and bankability of green renewable energy
Smart energy systems and digitalisation of the utilities infrastructure.

Funding closes at the end of September 2022.

Space for Tourism Round 2, 3 and 4

ESA Space Solutions

Motivation, business experience and domain expertise are all important features. We want to hear about your ideas that involve utilisation of either space technology or space data.

The funding for Round 2 closes at the end of September 2022.

The funding for Space for Round 3 closes at the end of December 2022.

The funding for Space for Round 4 closes at the end of March 2023.

5G/6G Services

ESA Space Solutions

Kick-Start activities explore the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services that exploit one or more space assets (e.g., Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology). This call for Kick-Start activities is dedicated to the theme ‘5G/6G Services’, which means that the call is open to companies that intend to develop space-enabled applications and services relating to the themes in this domain.

Industry transformation services: open 20 June 2022 to 10 October 2022.

Smart Transportation services: open 10 October 2022 to 9 January 2023.

Space in response to Humanitarian Crises

ESA Space Solutions

Supporting the physical, emotional, psychological, social, or economic well-being of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Supporting organisations to forecast, respond to, and manage humanitarian crises. Supporting communities hosting displaced people to adapt and respond to the challenges associated with migrant flows.  To support post-conflict recovery efforts.

Applications close 31 October 2022. Sponsored by ESA.

Digital Transformation and Green Economy

ESA Space Solutions

The call offers the opportunity to companies to bring forward their business propositions, which will leverage on space and advanced digital green technologies for delivering sustainable solutions. It is open to all industry in ESA Member States participating in the ARTES 4.0 Programme.

Through a partnership and co-funding scheme, ESA shall typically cover the technology and market risk associated to innovative developments. In return the Partners shall provide the respective private co-funding and develop innovative technologies / systems / products and end-to-end infrastructure.

The second batch of funding lasts from March 2022 to October 2022.

People, Planet, Prosperity

European Space Agency

The Thematic Call, in line with ESA’s vision to accelerate the use of space and the Director General’s Agenda 2025, targets space projects enabling “action beyond observation” within the vast ESG market described above where space technologies, specifically satellite telecommunications and 5G technologies, are key enablers.The long-term objective will be/ for those projects to evolve into fully fledged operational infrastructure providing commercial services for the benefit of the space industry and the ESG economic players involved.

The second batch of funding is available in October 2022, and closes 28 February 2023.

Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) Applications

ESA Space Solutions

ESA Space Solutions is looking for teams that have identified an attractive market opportunity with real potential to engage customers. Motivation, business experience and domain expertise are all important features. They want to hear about your innovative ideas that involve utilisation of either space technology or space data for sustainable services addressing institutional and public-regulated safety and security needs.

Funding runs until December 2025.

CASE: Commercial Applications Enabled by Space Environments

ESA Space Solutions

CASE Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects are designed to assess, mature, and implement business concepts for new commercial services, products and applications that are enabled by existing space infrastructure related to human and robotic exploration. Eligible space infrastructure includes, for example, space-based facilities such as commercial servicesavailable aboard the International Space Station or, once available, future LEO and lunar infrastructure.We offer funding and support to companies for business case assessment and spaceflight preparation as well as developing and piloting of new end-to-end services and products that benefit from space environments in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Funding closes in 2027.


ESA Space Solutions

Feasibility Studies, which provide the preparatory framework to identify, analyse and define new potentially sustainable applications and services in the railway domain, compliant with the following requirements: they are user/customer driven, they benefit from the integrated use of at least one space asset (e.g. satellite communications, satellite navigation, Earth observation), and they aim to evolve the targeted applications and services to marketability and operational roll-out, potentially through a Demonstration Project after successful completion of the Feasibility Study.

Demonstration Projects, dedicated to the implementation and demonstration of pre-operational services in the railway domain, compliant with the following requirements: they are user/customer driven (including user involvement and contribution) and potential customer engagement, they benefit from the integrated use of at least one space asset (e.g. satellite communications, satellite navigation, Earth observation), and they will be validated in a pre-operational context through a pilot utilisation stage, with clear potential to become sustainable in the post project phase.

In addition to these requirements, activities addressing the theme “Future Control-Command and Signalling in the European Rail System” shall, within its application to ESA, demonstrate an assessment of the business opportunity (for Feasibility Studies) or the improvement of the business case (for Demonstration Projects) related to ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) and complementarity to other activities launched at European level (e.g. within Shift2Rail or Horizon 2020).

Open date: 3 March 2022
Closing date: 31 December 2025

Student support: ESA microgravity programmes

UK Space Agency

UK-based teams successfully selected by ESA for certain student support programmes will be able to access funding up to £5,000. The funding is open until further notice, and the main sponsor is the UK Space Agency.

Open until further notice.

ESA Business Application

ESA Space Solutions

Zero-equity funding is available, from €60k to €3M+ per activity.

Catapult / Research & Technology Organisations (RTO) Grants

Innovate UK

Available for eligible IUK EDGE clients
Up to £15,000 grants available for:
Sector specific advice and technical expertise
Testing and/or development work
Market analysis, cost modelling etc
Identifying opportunities for R&D, partnership building & collaboration, and more

E: [email protected]


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