Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Generic space technologies

Topic identifier: SPACE-11-TEC-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
31 October 2017
Deadline: 06 March 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Updates
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

In the mid- and long-term the competitiveness of the space sector and its ability to serve the Union's internal and external policies, including the Space Strategy for Europe and the Common Security and Defence Policy, depends on the continuous incorporation of advanced basic technologies of common interest to all applications, including cross-cutting technologies such as power management, thermal control, materials and structures.

Advancements in these technology domains are necessary to enable new spacecraft or mission concepts with higher performances, higher power demand, lower mass and cost, such as higher data throughput systems and mega-constellations. As well, they can contribute to mitigate the risks related to the European dependence in space technologies. Moreover, a number of related challenges have parallels to terrestrial challenges, for example in the fields of aeronautics, energy, environment, advanced materials and production methods. Complementarity and synergy with on-going or planned European developments both in the space and non-space sectors is a challenge to address.


Activities shall advance, or spin-in from other fields, space technologies in the domain of power management, thermal control, materials, structures and processes. Incremental or potentially disruptive advancements can be both targeted.

Proposals based on low TRL technologies are solicited. The target is to demonstrate these up to medium TRL (4-6).

Each proposal shall address only one of the following sub-topics:

a) Innovative solutions for very high power systems, including solutions for power generation, storage, control and distribution able to support highly dissipative missions requirements. Innovation is sought in the areas of the high power electrical propulsion (> 20 kW) consistent with activities under the "In-space electrical propulsion and station keeping" SRC, very high throughput satellites, high power active antennas in high frequency bands, high capacity battery cells, low-cost ultra-capacitors, technologies for flexible/foldable arrays (aiming at >25 kW, addressing mechanical architecture and flexible solutions), regenerative fuels cells, low cost direct drive units, solar cells;

b) Innovative thermal control solutions for high temperature missions: high power communications, high voltage and high power systems, pose growing challenges to the thermal budget of the spacecraft or re-entry vehicle. Innovation is sought in the area of materials and thermal control solutions (e.g. heat pumps, advanced loop heat pipes, mechanical pumped loops, flexible self-regulated heaters), addressing thermal protection, thermal regulation, thermal stability, materials with variable emissivity/absorptivity; innovative thermal control surfaces, conductive/dissipative carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) panel;

c) Spacecraft bus stability and line-of-sight technologies: critical sensors and actuator solutions for high stability and line-of-sight control at spacecraft platform level, including sensors and actuators, focusing on competitiveness through efficiency and miniaturisation (and hybridisation);

d) Advanced materials, structures and production techniques (e.g. additive manufacturing): activities shall address technologies applied to space flight elements manufacturing with a focus on low-cost on-ground manufacturing processes in support to mega-constellations or on on-orbit manufacturing processes in support to space exploration;

e) Ground systems with massive processing: data processing capabilities of missions for different applications, including ground control stations for remote sensing operations; processing power and speed, post-processing, data fusion, data networks, configuration life-cycle management and operations (particularly for constellations, including mega-constellations), integration of new technologies in ground systems and data processing (big data archiving and retrieval, smart data optimisation, automated data processing, distributed data platforms, artificial intelligence, full automation), distributed data exploitation platform.

Low cost solutions based on components off the shelf (COTS) are encouraged.

Participation of industry, in particular SMEs, is encouraged too.

Activities shall be complementary and create synergy with other European activities in the same domain either in the space or non-space fields. Technological spin in and/or bilateral collaborations should be enhanced between European non-space and space industries.

To this end, proposals shall include the following tasks:

  • Analysis of relevant available roadmaps, including roadmaps developed in the context of actions for the development of Key Enabling Technologies supported by the Union;
  • Analysis of how their selected space technologies can contribute to different space applications or, where applicable, to non-space sectors (such as through technology transfer or spin off);
  • Commercial assessment of the supply chain technology in the space or non-space domains and, if applicable, a business plan for commercialisation with a full range (preload) of recurring products.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Development or spinning-in of new enabling technologies to space systems;
  • Lead to radical improvements in performance, enabling emerging missions, as for instance high data throughput satellites or constellations.
  • Lead to drastic improvements in efficiency, versatility, functionality and autonomy.
Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
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. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.


Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.  
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

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

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
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

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents:

Frequently Asked Questions on topic SPACE--11-TEC-2018

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
5. Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs) WP 2018-20
5iii. Space WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

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.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


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