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Guidelines for the Preparation of a Proposal under ESA's ARTES Program

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When required, a Proposal is a means for the applicant that seeks funding under the ARTES program to obtain a letter of support from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). If such letter of support is obtained, the applicant can then use this letter of support as part of its proposal to the European Space Agency (ESA).

To minimise the level of effort required by the applicant, whenever possible, the information requested by the CSA is information that the applicant will have to submit eventually to ESA. To ensure that the desired activity meets the CSA ESA Program Objectives listed in Annex A, additional information is requested from the applicant. On the basis of this initial information, the eligibility of the proposed idea for ARTES support can be assessed by relevant CSA experts and early feedback can be provided. Once the Proposal is found acceptable by CSA, a letter of support will be provided.

The suggested length of a Proposal is 5-10 pages and the applicant is encouraged to include diagrams, charts, and tables as appropriate to support the written text.

Mandatory criteria

In order to be considered for further evaluation to receive a letter of support from the CSA, the following mandatory criteria must be met and supporting information/evidence must be provided in the proposal.

Required information for evaluation

Product and technology

This section should describe the product to be developed or service to be provided (the “intended development”)

The contents of this section should include:

Business opportunity

This section should describe the identified opportunity for the intended development and how the proposed new solution relates to existing solutions.

The contents of this section should include:

Target customers

This section should describe the target users/customers of the intended development and provide supporting evidence that your product will meet the needs of these target customers.

The contents of this section should include a description of the customer segments that are planned to be targeted with the proposed product.

Market analysis

This section should describe the market potential for the intended development, including the potential impact on this market of your proposed development.

The contents of this section should include:


This section should describe the competition for your proposed product.

The contents of this section should include:

Development plan

This section should describe the programmatic aspects of the intended development.

The contents of this section should include:

Evaluation process

This section presents the evaluation process that will be used by the CSA to select activities where a letter of support will be provided. Evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria listed below. Evaluators will be experts in the field relevant to the applications and may include representatives of other Canadian government departments. The applicant shall use the information provided in this section regarding the evaluation process as additional guidelines for the information to include in its proposal.

Before a final decision is made, the CSA may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

The amount of support will be determined according to the total cost of the project, as well as the other sources of funds invested by other stakeholders and the applicant.

Finally, it is important to note that the CSA will also make its funding decisions based on the best interests of the Canadian space program and in order to promote a balanced approach to favor a healthy, diversified and competitive Canadian satcom industry.

Evaluation criteria

  1. Degree of innovation

    This criterion evaluates the novelty associated with the new concepts, products and/or know-how to be developed. Innovation can range from sustaining innovations that improve the performance of existing products (but do not create new markets) to disruptive innovations that offer an entirely different value proposition leading to the creation of new markets.

  2. Market assessment

    This criterion evaluates the applicant's understanding of the market needs associated with the proposed technology. It includes a thorough analysis of market demand. Incidentally, this criterion also evaluates whether the proposal addresses the existence and number of competing alternatives on the market.

  3. Alignment with Program objectives and benefits to Canadian

    This criterion evaluates the alignment of the proposed activities with the specific objectives of Canada's participation in the ARTES program and the more general objectives of the ESA program. It also assesses the benefits for Canadian, including the socio-economic benefits that would result from the proposed activities.

  4. Development of industrial core capabilities

    This criterion evaluates the potential of increasing industrial capabilities through the advancement of knowledge (know-how) or improvement of the state-of-the-art. It also assesses how the proposed project will contribute to enhancing Canadian industry's ability to meet national space needs. This readiness is reflected by the breadth and depth of the technological domains in which the Canadian industry is active.

  5. Competitive advantage

    This criterion assesses the merit and potential of the proposed project to positively affect the company's competitive advantage and/or overall market share. It is recognized that an improvement in the company's overall market share (or competitive advantage) can be achieved through creating a new market, penetrating for the first time an existing one and/or increasing one's position in an already accessed market.

  6. Path to commercial potential/flight opportunities

    This criterion evaluates the applicant's roadmap for implementing the technology in space. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

    • Does the applicant have a post-project strategy, with expected budget and schedule, to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential?
    • What future space missions are relevant for this technology?

Annex A: ESA Program objectives

Canada and ESA have been cooperating in space activities for over 40 years. Formal Canada–ESA cooperation started in 1979, with the signing of the first Cooperation Agreement that has since been renewed four times. The main objectives of the Canada/ESA Cooperation Agreement are to:


Should you have any questions about the cooperation between Canada and the ESA, contact us at

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