Develop Your Own Commercial Service in Space

ESA’s Call for Commercial Partnerships (CFP) provides you with the opportunity to establish your business in space. Whether you want to provide services for Earth, or for Space, our Commercial Partnership Initiative can help you commercialise your idea.

Unique Business Opportunities

  • Commercialisation of existing ESA space platforms
  • Development of new space platforms
  • Creation of support services for future Exploration Missions

Call for Ideas

In this public-private partnership (PPP) initiative, the type and amount of support are negotiated individually between the proposer and ESA. Both parties are contributing to the success of the project, and contributions from ESA can be both in-kind as well as financial.

What we offer

Access to existing ESA-owned facilities aboard the ISS

Technical & scientific expertise

In-Kind Contributions

Risk sharing throughout the project

Potential anchor customer agreement

What we want

Industry leads the service development

Customers are identified and on-board

The project is based on exploration infrastructure in Low-Earth Orbit, Lunar Orbit, on the Moon, or Mars.











Call for Commercial Partnerships

The Call for Commercial Partnerships Process

The process is divided in 5 phases:

  • Submission
  • Evaluation
  • Pilot Phase Preparation
  • Pilot Phase
  • Partnership Implementation

The time for completion of all phases depends on the type of partnerships, the quality of the submitted documentation and the overall complexity of the project.

We provide you with a set of documentation to help you prepare your applications.

How to Apply?

Eligibility Checklist

Preparing an application with our Activity Pitch Questionnaire (APQ)? Make sure to run through the Eligibility Checklist before you submit:

  • Did you provide all requested documentation?
  • Are you based in an E3P Member State?
  • Is your proposal compliant with ESA’s Programmatic and Legal Frameworks? For example we cannot promote the use of alcohol, tobacco, or weapons.
  • Is your proposal in scope with our Exploration Programme?

When in doubt, reach out via our contact form.

Pitch Session

Once your APQ passed the eligibility check, we invite you to pitch your idea to our Partnership Panel. This is not obligatory but we think it’s a great way to get to know each other and for you to get some initial, non-binding feedback.

If the APQ and Pitching Session go well, we invite you to submit a full proposal where you can specify your idea in more detail.

Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria

When preparing the full proposal, make sure to keep in mind the acceptance and evaluation criteria and address the points in your proposal to make sure we get the right understanding.

– High-Level Overview of Acceptance Criteria:
  • Novelty of idea
  • Identified customer base / target markets proven by letters of intent
  • Experience, heritage and capabilities in proposing team
  • In-kind contributions only / no exchange of funds
  • Non-exlusivity of ESA utilisation
  • Nonmonopolistic approach
– High-Level Overview of Evaluation Criteria:
  • Suitability of the consortium / project team
  • Strategic, business, technical and planning feasibility
  • Maturity of the business plan
  • Partnership benefits
  • Legal & ethical compliance

Focus on Competitiveness of Your Commercial Partnership

As intergovernmental organisation it is important for us to ensure fairness and competitiveness in European industry. We aim to strike a balance between enabling new market opportunities, and avoiding the distortion of existing markets. Make sure to include these aspects in your application:

  • Current status of target markets (new or existing) and growth potential;
  • Total market available;
  • Rate at which the market is growing;
  • Number of competitors in a particular market;
  • Intensity of competition;
  • Proposer’s position on the market.


ICE Cubes

Since 2018, the International Commercial Experiment Cubes Service provides commercial access to the space environment on the ISS.

Discover the Service

Bioreactor Express

Since 2019, commercial customers have access to the ESA-owned incubation facility ’KUBIK’ on the ISS Columbus module, one of the most successful space-based facilities for life science investigations.

Discover the Service


From 2022, the Bartolomeo External Payload Facility outside the ISS Columbus module provides end-to-end access for external payloads in support of many mission types.

Discover the Service

Lunar Pathfinder

Lunar Pathfinder will provide the first commercial lunar communications service to early lunar missions from 2024.

Discover the Service

Goonhilly Earth Station

The first commercial deep space tracking antenna (Cornwall, UK) has been opened for commercial and institutional use from mid-2021.

Discover the Service

Develop Your Own Service

Be the next one