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Cybersecurity as Enabler for Secure Satellite Communications and Resilient Applications

Fund Name

Cybersecurity as Enabler for Secure Satellite Communications and Resilient Applications

Project Value

Up to €500k

Deadline

18.08.2023

In an increasingly digital world, security and privacy concerns are becoming a growing priority focus for institutions, consumers and businesses. Satellite communications’ dependence on digital technologies, together with the growing use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components, has led to the extension of the attack surface throughout satellites’ lifecycles.

In order to sustain competitive advantage over the coming decade, satellite communications need to adopt innovative security technologies and state-of-the-art, security-by-design processes.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

Satellite communications offer a unique alternative to the transmission of data through the terrestrial internet, where it is increasingly vulnerable to potential malicious attacks. Used either as a primary communication means or as a backup to terrestrial networks, satcom can therefore enhance the security of sensitive data transmission and storage or provide backup connectivity in case of cyberattacks. This can benefit a wide range of sectors such as transportation, finance, business and government.

This new Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) Call for Proposals aims to foster the development of innovative satellite communications technologies, products, systems and downstream applications which address these challenges.

Key focus areas 

Cyber Secure Satellite Communications

The development of innovative security technologies, products and building blocks for future satellite communication systems, targeting topics such as:

  • New technologies for secure satellite communications and networks across all segments
  • Cryptographic processing, space security monitoring, security assessment and testing of space systems
  • Hardening of existing satcom products and systems
  • Security of the satcom supply chain

Satellite Communications as Enabler for a Cyber-Resilient Society

The development of technologies, products, systems and downstream applications which address key enabling roles for satellite communications, such as:

  • Secure ‘secure space-based cloud’ & secure routing of sensitive data via satellite networks
  • Satcom as a redundancy link in case of a cyberattack on critical terrestrial infrastructure and services
  • Secure satellite communications to enable enhanced cybersecurity for machines and vehicles operating on land, sea or air.
  • Quantum Key Distribution services, systems, technologies and products
  • The exploitation of emerging paradigms and technologies in the field of artificial intelligence and deep learning, distributed ledger technology, zero-trust models and internet-of-things in support of cybersecure systems enabled by SatCom

Eligibility

ESA offer funding and technical support to companies for the development of technologies, solutions, products and downstream applications addressing the key areas outlined above. ESA support will be based on a co-funding scheme where the funding levels will take into consideration product maturity and the risks involved.

This call is open to Industries within the ESA Member States participating in the 4S Strategic Programme Line, namely: Austria (AT), Belgium (BE), Canada (CA), Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Estonia (EE), Finland (FI), France (FR), Germany (DE), Greece (GR), Hungary (HU), Ireland (IE), Italy (IT), Luxembourg (LU), the Netherlands (NL), Norway (NO), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Spain (ES), Switzerland (CH), and the United Kingdom (UK).

There are two steps involved in applying to this call:

  • Outline Proposal: the first step is the submission of an Outline Proposal before the indicated deadline. Templates will be made available at the opening of the opportunity. Outline Proposals can be submitted at any time during the opening period, and will be assessed promptly by ESA.
  • Full Proposal: Following notification from ESA on the acceptance of the Outline Proposal, the Tenderer may decide to prepare a Full Proposal using the provided template. Only Full Proposals supported with a “Letter(s) of Authorisation of Funding” (AOF) from National Delegations covering the Full Proposal will be admitted for evaluation. The Full Proposals shall be delivered via “esa-star.”

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