Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : Technologies for European non-dependence and competitiveness

Topic identifier: COMPET-1-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Planned opening date:
08 November 2016
Deadline: 01 March 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The space sector is a strategic asset contributing to the independence, security and prosperity of Europe and its role in the world. Europe needs non-dependent access to critical space technologies, which is a conditio-sine-qua-non for achieving Europe’s strategic objectives. "Non-dependence" refers to the possibility for Europe to have free, unrestricted access to any required space technology. Whenever possible multiple (>1) sources for the critical technologies shall be promoted across Europe. Reaching non-dependence in certain technologies will open new markets to our industries and will increase the overall competitiveness of the European Space sector.


Research in technologies for European non-dependence and competitiveness has been undertaken within the frame of the Joint EC-ESA-EDA Task Force on Critical Technologies for European non-Dependence, launched in 2008. The Joint Task Force recently updated the list of actions for 2015-2017[1].

Activities shall address technologies identified on the list of Actions for 2015/2017 focusing on those areas that have not so far benefitted from prior Framework Programme funding and representing the highest potential for being implemented through the types of action available in Horizon 2020.

Accordingly, the following priority technologies have been identified:

  • U09 - Cost effective multi - junction solar cells for space applications.
  • U16 - Space qualified GaN components and demonstrators.
  • U17 - High density (up to 1000 pins and beyond) assemblies on PCB and PCBs.
  • U21 - Very high speed serial interfaces.
  • U23 – Development of large deployable structures for antennas.
  • U26 - Space qualified carbon fibre and pre-impregnated material sources for launchers and satellite subsystems.

Technological spin in and/or bilateral collaborations should be enhanced between European non-space and space industries and proposals are expected to provide advanced critical technologies that are of common interest to different space application domains (e.g. telecom, Earth observation, science, etc.), or even with applicability to terrestrial domains.

Proposals should strive to go beyond the present state-of-the-art or, preferably, the expected state of the art at the time of completion if alternative technologies are being developed outside Europe. High level specifications and key requirements can be found in the list of actions for 2015-2017.

Proposals should include a work package dedicated to the development of a commercial evaluation of the technology, and should address how to access the commercial market with a full range (preload) of recurring products.

A maximum of one proposal per identified priority technology line will be selected for funding.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 5 million would allow this specific topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

In projects to be funded under this topic participation of industry, in particular SMEs, is encouraged.

Expected Impact:
  • Reduce the dependence on critical technologies and capabilities from outside Europe for future space applications, as identified in the list of Actions for 2015/2017 as part of the Joint EC-ESA-EDA task force on Critical Technologies;
  • Develop, or regain in the mid-term, the European capacity to operate independently in space, e.g. by developing in a timely manner reliable and affordable space technologies that in some cases may already exist outside Europe or in European terrestrial applications;
  • Enhance the technical capabilities and overall competitiveness of European space industry satellite vendors on the worldwide market;
  • Open new competition opportunities for European manufacturers by reducing the dependency on export restricted technologies that are of strategic importance to future European space efforts;
  • Enable the European industry to get non-restricted access to high performance technologies that will allow increasing its competitiveness and expertise in the space domain;
  • Improve the overall European space technology landscape and complement the activities of European and national space programmes;
  • Greater industrial relevance of research actions and output as demonstrated by deeper involvement of industry, including SMEs, and stronger take-up of research results;
  • Fostering links between academia and industry, accelerating and broadening technology transfer.

[1]Excerpt from "Critical Space Technologies for European Strategic Non-Dependence – Actions for 2015/2017" (

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the following exception: considering the nature and objectives of the action, and in view of favouring wider competition and participation, the European Space Agency will not participate in consortia of proposals submitted under this call for proposals.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

8. Additional documents

Additional documents

Download all documents
(EN only, incl. the additional docs.)

  • Critical Space Technologies for European Strategic Non-Dependence: Actions for 2015/2017 (Version 1.16 - July 2015) en

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