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Smart and uncrewed shipping

ESA is ready to support European Industry in developing and demonstrating services enabled by converged Space and 5G communications and/or advanced PNT (Positioning, Navigation & Timing) technologies in the Smart and Uncrewed Shipping domain.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has launched on 17 March 2021 the Call for Proposals “Smart and Uncrewed Shipping”. The call invites companies to submit their ideas for deploying and demonstrating commercially sustainable space-based services relying on innovative technologies in Telecommunications and Satellite Navigation, including 5G and advanced PNT technologies.

The solutions proposed by the companies shall address the needs identified in the maritime sector by several stakeholders, such as European ports, government departments, maritime authorities, maritime associations and alliance. In a number of cases, the collaboration with stakeholders is based on a Memorandum of Intent signed between them and the Agency.

The services shall demonstrate innovation in the application of advanced PNT and/or converged Space and 5G terrestrial communications networks in the maritime sector, paving the way for new connectivity, navigation solutions and sustainable business models for stakeholders operating in this sector. Such services could be conceived to enable improved autonomy and navigation of maritime vessels, decrease the environmental footprint of maritime transport, increase efficiency and/or security of port operations, allow sustainability of processes in the maritime domain, and mitigate risks for coastal areas and infrastructures.

The call invites companies to submit proposals for development and demonstration projects showcasing the value of innovative space-based downstream services and solutions in the smart and uncrewed shipping domain.

The projects will be funded through the ARTES 5G and Space Solutions programmes of ESA, with a possible supporting contribution of the NAVISP (Navigation Innovation and Support Programme) in relation to the development of advanced navigation technologies.

 “The added value of space technologies in the maritime sector has been self-evident for a long time. The advent of novel telecommunications and navigation capabilities will enable yet more innovative applications in this burgeoning sector, and this call for proposals will catalyse their development and deployment”, stated Elodie Viau, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications.

Proposals can be submitted anytime until 15 September 2021. Please note that two deadlines will be in place – the first on 15 June, the second on 15 September. Proposals will be assessed and feedback will be provided shortly after each of these times.

The call is open to European companies from subscribed member states. Additional information can be found at: https://business.esa.int/funding/invitation-to-tender/smart-and-uncrewed-shipping.

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