Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Annex 4



  ESA intends to derive maximum benefit of the innovative, dynamic and entrepreneurial SMEs, through the use of their skills, expertise and cost effectiveness to the benefit of its Programmes; to this end, ESA intends:

    —  to promote spin-in of SMEs' technologies/products when cost effective and useful for its programmes;

    —  to help SMFs boosting their Skills and their Expertise and ease their participation to ESA Programmes and activities;

    —  to support the sustainability of their business through for example the transfer of their space technologies to other applications and markets, incubation, etc; and

    —  to provide transparency and improved information on its programmes and procurement procedures.

  ESA has support actions in all these fields, and continuous improvement of its tools and approaches is one of the Agency policy.


  A number of actions are planned to be taken by ESA to optimise its action:

Communication and discussion with the SMEs community

  To reflect on their needs and find the best way that will increase their participation in our programmes.

Increased Support to SMEs by technology action

  ESA will continue taping the SMEs' innovation potential, and will seek through communication and consultancy of the representative associations, the best ways to ascertain the participation of this category of firms to its programmes.

Coordination and streamlining of our actions targeting SMEs for a better out-reach

  ESA has presently different initiatives targeting SMEs, in different directorates.

  ESA overall action will undergo a coordination exercise to help SMEs finding their ways through ESA and its programmes, and simplifying their access.

Fostering exploitation and dissemination of space technologies through SMEs

  SMEs are the best vector for Technology transfer, and ESA will continue helping them to disseminate these technologies, to create a synergy between the developers and the users and to generate a dynamic of growth and employment in Europe.

Institutionalisation, promotion and synergy

    —  Actions that proved to be useful will be continued and strengthened.

    —  Synergy of action with other actors (eg with the EC, the national Agencies and Primes will be sought).

Provision to SMEs of coherent information on ESA programmes

    —  Different sources of information exist on ESa programmes and on business opportunities. A streamlining of the communication tools will be conducted.

    —  Progressive improvements to streamline ESA's procurement process for small contracts, have been taken since the second quarter of 2006, and will be pursued with view to simplify SMEs bidding process.

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