Opportunity: Space Systems for Safety & Security (4S): Technologies, Products, Systems and End-to-end Infrastructure Developments for Secure Communications

ESA-STAR Reference: News item: 646
Announcement of Opportunity: Space Systems for Safety & Security (4S): Technologies, Products, Systems and End-to-end Infrastructure Developments for Secure Communications
 Opening date: 20 December 2021
 Closing date: 28 February 2022

***Current closing date is for the first batch***



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 and critically impact essential governmental or institutional services (at national, regional, or local levels) or operations that are deemed critical in fields as various as transport, finance, health, energy production and distribution, etc.

Adding appropriately tailored secure Next Generation Satellite Communications components to our 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 on this domain by the creation of a Strategic Programme Line named “Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S)” under the ESA ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) programme. The 4S Strategic Programme Line objective is to support the development of Next Generation Satcom Systems aimed at providing secure and safe communications for governmental/institutional and public regulated services and ensuring resilience to society’s critical digital infrastructures.

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 market, and in particular from dedicated actions from public and private organisations in the ARTES Member States perimeter and at EU level.


The present AO covers 4S related satcom technologies, products, sub-systems, systems, and end-to-end infrastructure solutions on which Next Generation secure satcom systems will rely. 

Activities can address the full life cycle of activities: definition, technology and product developments, demonstration in a pre-operational environment. The activities can cover one or multiple phases of the full cycle.

Reduction of the dependency of institutional safety and security solutions on non-EU actors or actors outside ESA Member States, is also a target of this AO.


We are looking for proposals addressing the development of innovative solutions in the areas of ground, space, sub-systems, systems, security, and end-to-end infrastructures addressing the market of secure communications.

The AO is open to Industry within the ESA Member States participating in the 4S programme. 

Through a partnership and co-funding scheme, ESA will 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.


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

Following a first issue of this opportunity from June to November 2021, a second issue of this AO has been issued, based on two batches (time-windows): 

  • - First batch lasting from December 2021 till 28 February 2022 
  • - Second batch lasting from 02 March 2022 to 31 May 2022.

For each batch, the AO procedure will be organised in the following steps:

1 Submission to ESA of Pitch Proposals by Industry  
2a In-Principle Support by ESA Member States Delegations
2b Identification of ARTES Implementing rules to be applied
3 Submission to ESA of Outline Proposals (OP) by Industry


Illustrative Timeline
Figure 1: Illustrative Timeline

The Pitch Proposals that are positively evaluated and supported by the relevant ESA Member State Delegations, will be implemented under either ARTES C&G or ARTES Partner Generic Programme Line (GPL) Implementing Rules, depending on their nature and scope and in coordination with National Delegations. 


Register here for the webinar “4S Opportunities : preparing end-to-end solutions and their critical building blocks, products and technologies for Next Generation secure SATCOM communications” at 11:00 CET on 09 February 2022.


Announcement of Opportunity 4S

Announcement of Opportunity Pitch Proposal Template

Webinar slides

Published 26 July 2021
Last updated at 15 February 2022 - 10:01