Call for proposals for LEIT-Space-Competitivenessof the European Space Sector H2020-COMPET-2014 Closed!


Space research is supported in Horizon 2020 under the priority "Industrial Leadership", in line with the main objective and challenge to foster a cost-effective competitive and innovative space industry (including SMEs) and research community to develop and exploit space infrastructure to meet future Union policy and societal needs. Building on the successes of the Seventh Framework Programme, Horizon 2020 will enable the European space research community to develop innovative space technologies and operational concepts "from idea to demonstration in space", and to use space data for scientific, public, or commercial purposes.


Actions foreseen within this call for proposals include the following topics:

  • COMPET-02-2014: Independent access to space. The ability to access space is a vital strategic capability for Europe as it has been underlined by EU Council in several resolutions and conclusions. Such capability is necessary to ensure a leading position alongside other major spacefaring nations. The present topic will support research into breakthrough technologies to provide access to space which are complementary and in synergy with the on-going work undertaken by Member States and the European Space Agency to develop solutions for affordable and reliable launcher capabilities. Research efforts should strengthen Europe’s capability in terms of having an available, reliable and competitive launch service and lead to cheaper new solutions to ensure the development of a world-class European space-industry and satellite-based applications and services.
  • COMPET-04-2014: Space Robotics Technologies. The challenge is to enable major advances in space robotic technologies for future on-orbit satellite servicing (robotics and rendezvous), and the exploration of the surfaces of the other bodies in our solar system. The objective is to propose a Programme Support Activity (PSA) for the future implementation of a Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) in Horizon 2020. The overall budget for such an SRC could be in the range of several tens of millions of euros and should achieve an in-orbit demonstration at a significant scale of an autonomous system with key elements for the future sector of on-orbit satellite servicing. This demonstration will be achieved not later than 2023. Further information on the concept of a Strategic research cluster is available from
  • COMPET-05-2014: In-Orbit demonstration/Validation (IOD/IOV). In-Orbit demonstration/Validation (IOD/IOV) is a unique tool to boost industry’s competitiveness by eliminating the famous “valley of death” and accelerating the deployment of innovative technology.
  • COMPET-07-2014: Space exploration – Life support. ISS is the current cornerstone of European activities in human spaceflight. With its assembly now complete, and with several years of operations ahead until 2020 and possibly beyond, ISS should be used to the fullest extent for optimising and broadening the scientific, technological and operational return of Europeans investments. ISS should also be further used as a test-bed for the preparation of future exploration ventures as well as for enabling overall scientific and technological progress and provide benefits to citizens. The selection of these proposals in the area of life support will depend on their suitability for research on-board ISS.
  • COMPET-09-2014: Technology “demonstrator projects” for exploration. The EU, together with ESA, initiated the high-level platform for space exploration with three dedicated international high level conferences at ministerial level (i.e. Prague in 2009, Brussels in 2010, and Lucca in 2011). The next conference will be hosted by the United States in January 2014. One of the potential outcomes of the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF) as proposed by Europe is to advance towards the identification of possible future collaboration domains building on technology “demonstrator projects,” to be proposed by one or more actors and linked to exploration missions.
  • COMPET-10-2014: Outreach through education. Space endeavours bear a significant potential of inspiration and motivation for the younger generations. Positive exposure to and experiences in the space domain can contribute moreover to building long-term partnerships between peoples from different cultural backgrounds and countries inside and outside Europe. The challenge is to design and run sustainable outreach activities which can act as catalysers, motivating pupils and students at different ages and education levels. Proposals which could be implemented across different cultures, inside and outside Europe, would be considered.
  • COMPET-11-2014: Transnational and international cooperation among NCPs. Facilitate trans-national co-operation between NCPs within the Space domain with a view to identifying and sharing good practices and raising the general standard of support to programme applicants, taking into account the diversity of actors that make up the constituency of this domain.
  • COMPET-01-2014: Technologies for European non-dependence and competitiveness. The space sector is a strategic asset contributing to the independence, security and prosperity of Europe and its role in the world. Europe needs non-dependent access to critical space technologies, which is a conditio-sine-qua-non for achieving Europe’s strategic objectives. "Non-dependence" refers to the possibility for Europe to have free, unrestricted access to any required space technology. Reaching non-dependence in certain technologies will open new markets to our industries and will increase the overall competitiveness of the European Space sector.
  • COMPET-03-2014: In-Space electrical propulsion and station keeping. Advances in-Space propulsion beyond the use of chemical technologies will enable a much more competitive development and exploitation of Space systems. The challenge is to enable major advances in electric propulsion for in-space operations and transportation, and guarantee the leadership of European capabilities in electric propulsion at world level within the 2020-2030 timeframe. The objective is to propose a Programme Support Activity (PSA), for the future implementation of a Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) in Horizon 2020. The overall budget for such an SRC could be in the range of several tens of millions of euros and should achieve a full in-orbit validation of the electric propulsion systems developed at pre-commercial level during the SRC. This validation is to be achieved not later than 2023.
  • COMPET-06-2014: Bottom-up space technologies at low TRL. In the mid- and long-term the competitiveness of the space sector and its ability to serve the Union's internal and external policies including the Common Security and Defence Policy depends on the continuous incorporation of novel, or even disruptive technologies. The European RTD investment in the field of very low-TRL technologies is to be enhanced. A number of challenges in space technologies have parallels to terrestrial challenges, for example in the fields of aeronautics, energy, environment, ICTs, natural resource exploration, sensors, robotics, advanced materials and production methods, security and health.
  • COMPET-08-2014: Science in context: sample curation facility and scientific exploitation of data from Mars missions. Two specific areas of space science where there is a significant underinvestment when compared to the potential scientific return for Europe are sample curation facility and the exploitation of data of Mars.

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 52,00 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 26 March 2014 - 7 years ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • LEIT – Space-Competitiveness of the European Space Sector-2014 (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible

Directorate-General for Research

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