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TOPIC : Access to space

Topic identifier: SPACE-17-TEC-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
DeadlineModel:
Opening date:
single-stage
16 October 2018
Deadline: 12 March 2019 17:00:00

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

Access to space is an indispensable element of the entire value chain of space and has been recognised as an area of strategic importance towards the direction of Europe's non-dependence.

Access to space is a matter of security of supply, industry capability and technology readiness and a sine qua non condition of the modern space knowledge-based economies. Only a handful of space-faring countries master this capability as a result of extensive institutional funding for research and development costs and the guarantee of services exploitation. Europe has achieved its remarkable position in this field thanks to national programmes and the programmes of the European Space Agency ESA, Access to Space being one fundamental origin of its own creation in 1975.

The Space Strategy for Europe has confirmed that Europe shall maintain autonomous, reliable and cost-effective access to space. It underlined that it is crucial that Europe continues to have modern, efficient and flexible launch, production and test infrastructure facilities.

Cost reduction and improving flexibility of launch systems are the main challenges in order to foster European industry competitiveness on the global market.

The industry 4.0 transformational wave is likely to bring opportunities for innovative concepts lowering the cost of space launch manufacturing/integration/testing/operations and further improving quality.

Scope:

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

a) Innovative concepts for low cost launch system and services for mini-, micro-, nano-satellites and cubesats: with an aim at further increasing launch frequency and lowering launch costs including for those satellites with dedicated orbit requirements (e.g. precise orbital insertion for nano-cubesat satellites), for the worldwide commercial market,. They shall seek coherence and complementarity with on-going ESA initiatives. Proposals could include for instance, upper stage related technologies (e.g. disruptive technologies for upper stage low thrust / high Specific Impulse / green propellant engine, avionic miniaturisation, dispensers with advanced deployment capabilities) and the identification of advanced low cost materials.

b) Launch system advanced manufacturing (e.g. tooling and machines) and modern infrastructures (including ground infrastructures for low cost European launch sites for mini, micro nano satellite launch system): Activities shall address manufacturing technologies and processes such as integrated supply chain, integrated European manufacturing flow (global use of digital mock-up within extended enterprise), digitalisation standardisation applied to space (space related data exchange, harmonisation of process, cloud centric exchange of data), remote control capacities useful to all European actors (satellites industrialists, launch pads, rocket propulsion test centres and launcher industrialists) and competences capitalization in support of digital training (shared space curricula supported by numeric know-how capture) as well as advanced assembly, integration and testing, including small, mini, micro satellite launch systems.

The proposed solutions to be considered will take into account relevant regulatory frameworks, in particular REACH, and will also take into account the environmental impacts and health risks.

These activities shall consist of research, innovation and development work which can be readily integrated within current and planned European launch infrastructures. A preliminary implementation, operational and total investment plan shall be included in the proposal and detailed during the action.

For each topic, activities shall be complementary with other European activities in the same domain.

Proposals shall include an analysis of relevant available roadmaps at European level.

The involvement of post-graduate scientists, engineers and researchers is encouraged, for example through professional work experience or through fellowships/scholarships as applicable.

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:
  • Contribution to the maturing of technologies to Launch Systems/services for small satellites in dedicated orbits and with a strong focus on cost reduction and launch rate flexibility;
  • Innovative use of current Launcher technologies for mini-, micro-launchers, and associated ground segment solutions that will contribute to pursue and facilitate, in the short-term, extreme low-cost launch services for the worldwide market of small satellites and constellations, thus enabling also private initiatives to build viable business cases based on such technologies;
  • Improve business performance of European space start-ups/scale-ups (e.g. via precise deployment of their space asset and reduction of time required to have the constellation fully operational).
  • Increase compliance with the evolutions of the normative regulatory framework, in particular REACH;
  • Improved quality and safety control solutions, which are absolutely fundamental in rocketry, within three to five years;
  • Supply chain efficiency applied to space launch manufacturing, integration and operations thanks to research and innovation data exchange architecture taking into account the evolution of the normative framework and environmental impacts.
  • Improved workforce competence management and European top-class space curricula.
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.

 

A maximum of two proposals per sub-topic shall be selected for funding.

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:

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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Type of Action Research and Innovation action [RIA]
Topic Access to space - SPACE-17-TEC-2019
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