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17 new ESA projects

ESA recommended to carry out 17 new Czech space projects

Prague, July 28th 2011 – The European Space Agency recommended 17 out of 63 Czech projects, in the frame of the 2nd call of the Czech Industry Incentive Scheme (CIIS). Companies, research institutions and universities from the Czech Republic will join research projects from space research and applications development.

Covered areas include ground segment, Earth observation, launchers, space navigation and from other areas of technological solutions with wider use. In case of four selected projects, the prime investigator is the Czech Technical University in Prague or the Czech Academy of Sciences. Other 13 projects will be led by private companies. For projects agreed in the 2nd call there is a prepared budget of over 75 million CZK.

“The major goal of the CIIS program is to prepare Czech institutions in a way, that they would be competitive and could successfully join mandatory and optional ESA space programs, ” says the director of the Czech Space Office Jan Kolar and adds: “Before the actual selection of particular project, a deep technical expertise is provided by ESA specialists and finally the joint working group, composed from experts from ESA and the Czech Republic, decides about the selection of the particular project. As from the first call 14 Czech projects were selected allocating the budget of 65 million CZK in total, from the second call 17 projects were selected with an overall budget over 10 million higher than in the previous call.”

Among companies, which succeeded in this “ESA national tender” are: Honeywell CR, EGGO Space, Iguassu Software Systems, Czech Space Research Centre, Gisat, ANF DATA, The Czech Metrological Institute, Aerospace Research and Test Establishment, Explosia, Synpo, ProjectSoft HK, Frentech Aerospace and Institute of Experimental and Applied physics.

Applicants submitted their proposals from three categories of projects, defined by ESA according to objectives of the incentive program:

  • Flight hardware – with emphasis on activities related to basic satellite equipment, sensors or general technologies with the potential of reusability
  • Research and Development activities, including Feasibility Studies, leading to software or hardware products, services or technology verification
  • Preparation activities (e.g. studies, user requirements definition, market analyses) supporting Czech competitiveness in mandatory and optional ESA programs with Czech participation

The Czech Republic became the 18th ESA member state in 2008. In the first six years after joining ESA, the Czech Republic has the privilege of nearly half of its mandatory contribution (approximately 60 million CZK) guaranteed for financing solely Czech projects. Currently there are around thirty projects running with Czech participation and another 17 have just been selected in the 2nd call of CIIS. Besides that, there are also other projects with Czech participation in preparation within the framework of other ESA programs.

According to Jan Kolar the research teams, SMEs and other participants interested in joining the space industry have a unique opportunity to apply for the 3rd call of CIIS, which is ESA planning to run within two years. “The exact time of the opening of the 3rd call has not been selected yet. However, it is assumed, that this could be between 2012 and 2013. Nevertheless, interested institutions and companies can apply for projects within the framework of ESA space programs already since the beginning of our ESA membership,” mentions Kolar from the Czech Space Office.