European Space Agency: Space for Infrastructure - Health

ESA seeks to support development of sustainable space-based services and applications related to health infrastructure, systems, and policies.

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Usually ESA will bear up to 50% (non-SME businesses) or 80% (for SMEs) of the eligible cost pending support from the National Delegation, and the remainder must be financed by the tenderer and/or other partners.



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“Space for Infrastructure” includes a thematic call for proposals in health infrastructure. Health infrastructure refers to the physical and organisational structures and facilities that are necessary for the delivery of healthcare services. This can include:

  • hospitals
  • clinics
  • medical equipment
  • trained healthcare professionals
  • laboratories
  • pharmacies
  • health insurance organisations

This also includes the systems and policies in place to manage and coordinate the various components of the healthcare system that ensure the delivery of quality healthcare, such as:

  • health information systems
  • quality assurance systems
  • healthcare financing systems

Satellite technology and data have a significant part to play in the development of potential services. This section lists (and applications are not limited to) the following examples.

Satellite Communications (Satcom) can enable new solutions in the following areas:

  • providing ubiquitous connectivity in disaster response situations in which terrestrial cellular mobile networks have been knocked out
  • enabling real-time, long-range communications. This could possibly be used in providing remote operations.
  • bringing about the next stage of the digitalisation of health services. I.e. for use in remote locations
  • enabling a greater range of tele-medicine applications
  • promoting wider access to quality healthcare

Satellite navigation and timing services (GNSS) is pivotal to providing services to emergency response vehicles. These services include:

  • tracking and routing to emergency locations.
  • ensuring the resilience of navigation services in emergency situations against jamming and spoofing – this must be robust when dealing with life-critical services in a crisis.

GNSS is also pivotal in the use of UAVs/drones. These UAVs could be used for both drug/transplant organ delivery but also for situational awareness in disaster situations.

Finally, positioning services are useful in geo-locating and geo-fencing health infrastructure assets. This is especially important to avoid theft or tampering with medical equipment. Timing services offered by GNSS can be used for the synchronisation of infrastructure equipment and can also enable the time-stamping of medical records to ensure transparent traceability.

Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO) services offer the monitoring of the Earth monitoring on a regional level. SatEO can possibly enable the following applications:

  • situational awareness in the planning of disaster relief efforts.
  • proactive monitoring of the environment to ensure that disease outbreaks are avoided.
  • air quality monitoring and the mapping of this onto health services.

ESA are looking for teams who have identified an attractive market opportunity with real potential to engage customers. Motivation, business experience and domain expertise are all important features. We want to hear about your ideas that involve the utilisation of either space technology or space data. In particular we are looking for those opportunities which are going to become market disruptors to either the sport, cultural or educational infrastructure market(s) and which offer a high level of innovation.

ESA will support Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects under this ‘Announcement of Opportunities’:

  • Feasibility Studies allow successful teams to analyse, design and plan their intended service
  • Demonstration Projects allow successful teams to put their intended service into practice. Teams will test their service in the market by running a pilot with significant users and, by the end of the project, the service should be operational.

Funded participation is open to any company and/or organisation, be it as a group of users, public body or non-governmental organisation, residing in any of the ESA Member States that are participating to the programme (22 countries including the UK). If you would like help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK Business Connect’s Space team.


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