Opportunity: ESA Secure Satcom for Safety and Security (4S)

  Publication date:
25 June 2021
  Closing date: 15 November 2021






Today, our communications rely mostly on terrestrial network solutions that tend to be more and more integrated (IP, 5G, …). Any failure of one element might lead to a major service disruption of the whole network. This will impact the actual level of control of essential infrastructure and have serious implications on ESA Member States safety, security and sovereignty. In that context adding appropriately tailored secure Next Generation SatCom components to telecommunication infrastructure will greatly help to increase the overall resilience to any kind of disruption, bring additional capacity and ensure its global coverage. In 2019, ESA Member States decided to focus their efforts in this domain by the creation of a Strategic Programme Line named “Space Systems for Safety and Security” under ESA Telecommunication Programme ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems). 

As part of the 4S strategic action, the present Announcement of Opportunity (AO) aims to boost the ESA Member States industry’s innovation, competitiveness and ability to timely deliver the most advanced technologies, products, systems and end-to-end solutions in response to 4S-related demands and opportunities on the worldwide market, in particular from public organisations in the ESA Member States perimeter.


The present AO covers the following areas: 4S technologies, products, sub-systems, systems and end-to-end infrastructure solutions.

The AO addresses the full life cycle of activities relating to 4S including: 

•  definition, technology and product developments, demonstration in a pre-operational environment.

The activities can cover one or multiple phases of the full cycle. Furthermore, proposals are encouraged to identify any value that the proposed activity may bring for reducing the dependency of institutional safety and security solutions on non-EU actors or actors outside ESA Member States, such as: 

•  ownership of assets, location of operations facility (e.g. S/C; SCC; MOC); 
•  security of technology supply, manufacturing know-how; and 
•  security certification. 


The AO will be open to Industry within ESA Member States participating in the 4S programme. The scope baseline consists of developments proposed by ESA Member States’ Industry in the areas of ground, space, sub-system, system and end-to-end infrastructures addressing the market of secure communications. Pooling and sharing solutions are excluded from this AO as specifically covered in other frameworks. 
In such partnership ESA shall typically cover, through co-funding, the technology and market risk associated to innovative developments. Note that the level of co-funding may depend on the technology maturity and risks addressed in the proposed activities. 

In return the Partner(s) shall: 

•  provide the respective private co-funding; and  
•  develop innovative technologies / systems / products and end-to-end infrastructure. 


Tenderers are invited to submit their proposal(s) in the form of Pitch Proposal(s) based on a template provided by ESA.  

The announcement procedure will be in three steps and with the following schedule:

Step   Date
0 Issue of Announcement of Opportunity (AO) by ESA 25.06.2021
1 Submission to ESA of Pitch Proposals by Industry   15.11.2021
2a In-Principle Support by ESA Member States Delegations 30.11.2021
2b Identification of ARTES Implementing rules to be applied 30.11.2021
3 Submission to ESA of Outline Proposals (OP) by Industry 31.01.2022 – 28.02.2022

Illustrative Timeline
Illustrative Timeline


Any proposal submitted after the deadline of 15 November 2021 will automatically revert to the technology and product Call for Proposals AO on ESA Secure Satcom for Safety & Security (4S), issued in 2019, and will be managed at best effort basis.


Announcement of Opportunity 4S

Announcement of Opportunity Pitch Proposal Template

Published 26 July 2021
Last updated at 27 August 2021 - 11:53