ESA Spark Funding Austria

Open Call
Make sure to apply by 02/10/2023 12:00 CET
Thank you for your applications!
Ready for liftoff!
We look for:
Austrian-based companies that use or would benefit from using space technology (e.g. sensors, materials) or space assets/services (e.g. Satellite Communication, Satellite Earth Observation) in non-space markets.

Integrate space technology or space assets/services into existing product lines or create entirely new products/services.

We offer:
Zero-equity funding of € 55,000.00, with a funding rate of 64.7%. Projects should last between 6 and 12 months, aiming to develop a prototype or mockup and a business plan.

Application process:
Applications are welcome until the deadline above. Proposals will be evaluated on criteria including the business and technical feasibility. Check the Open Call documentation for further details!
  1. Download and fill in documents
    Complete and sign the application documents found below (Open Call Documents). Should you have any questions, please get in touch at! We will be happy to provide clarifications on any topic (e.g. eligibility, content, funding).
  2. Submit application
    The filled Application Template documents should be digitally submitted to, the latest on the submission deadline.
  3. Evaluation
    Once your application has been received the Tender Opening Board (TOB) will check your proposal’s admissibility to the Call and, if successful, you will be invited to present in Graz on 24/10/2023 at the Tender Evaluation Board (TEB), where your proposal’s content will be evaluated.
  4. Ready for liftoff!
    If successful at the TEB, we will get in touch to move on to contract signature and start your project as soon as possible!
Open Call Documents

Next application deadline

2nd October 2023, 12:00 CET

Still have questions? Find our answers to all FAQs:
Is ESA Spark Funding Austria the right tool for my company? Is my project a good fit for the Call?
We can help you answer this question: please go ahead and contact us at!
What do you mean by “space technology and/or space assets/service”?
“Space technology” refers, for example, to sensors, materials, or electronics developed for space purposes. “Space assets/services” include, for example, Satellite Communications, Satellite Positioning Navigation and Timing (PNT), Satellite Earth Observation, Satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS), or Space Weather technologies.
What do you mean by “non-space markets”?
Non-space markets include, but are not limited to, fields such as agriculture, energy, environment, health, safety or transport.
Who can apply?
To apply, you must be a legal entity (a public law company / a private law company / an association / a foundation, etc.) registered under the laws of Austria. You must be headquartered in Austria and fully compliant with Austrian tax and social security obligations.
Which elements should I include in my SDG analysis and to what level of detail?

The analysis should address the SDGs that are impacted by the product/service. The level of detail will depend on the project’s ability to align with Goals, Targets and Indicators. The ideal application would include all of these elements:

  • Goals addressed
  • Targets addressed
  • Indicators to measure the impact (referring as much as possible to the official ones)
  • Expected impact (e.g., the product will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions by X in the next 5 years)

The official list of Goals, Targets and Indicators can be found here.

What is the maximum amount that I can request?

ESA Spark Funding Austria provides funding of EUR 55,000.00, with a 64.7% funding rate. This means that the project total costs should amount to EUR 85,000.00.

Will Science Park Graz or ESA take equity in the selected company?

No. ESA Spark Funding Austria is a zero-equity tool.

How long should the project last?
Projects must have a duration of minimum 6 and maximum 12 months.
How many projects will be selected for ESA Spark Funding Austria?
Depending on the applications received, approximately 5 projects will be selected in the call.
What do I have to submit in order to successfully apply for the ESA Spark Funding Austria open call?

The full application documentation can be found here. Please carefully read through all the documents. Here below you may find a summary of the documents to be submitted:

  • Application Template (including Executive Summary, Business Case and Technical Proposal, Activity Proposal, Management Proposal)
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Letter(s) of support, if any
  • Any other relevant information about the activity or the Applicant, as necessary
How does the evaluation process look like? What is the Tender Evaluation Board?

The evaluation procedure is carried out in two stages:

First Stage: The Tender Opening Board (TOB) takes place after the submission deadline is closed and it assesses if all formal requirements have been met. This is a crucial step to staying in the application process.

Second stage: The Tender Evaluation Board (TEB) meeting takes place after the TOB to evaluate the submitted documents and the company’ proposal at a pitch (10 to 15 minutes) and Q&A session (up to 30 minutes). The TEB evaluates each of the applicants against the evaluation criteria and takes a decision whether or not the company will be offered funding under the call. The TEB is managed by Science Park Graz and ESA together with the Aeronautics and Space Agency (ALR/FFG), with the participation of space technology experts. The TEB meeting takes place a few weeks after the submission deadline. The company will get to know the results of the TEB meeting shortly after it takes place!

What are the evaluation criteria for the Tender Evaluation Board?
You can find the evaluation process and criteria in the Open Call documentation.
If I am selected, how long does it take to sign the funding contract?
Upon acceptance, the company will be invited to sign the ESA Spark Funding Austria Contract made available in draft with the Open Call documents. In a “Contracting Meeting” we can clarify any point needed before the project starts. After the minimum information required for the contract preparation is provided (e.g. statements of compliance with tax and social security) the signature is expected to be a matter of days.
What is the funding payment plan?

The first instalment (50% of the total amount) will be paid upon signature of the ESA Spark Funding Austria Contract by both parties. The second instalment (remaining 50% of the total amount) will be paid upon a successful Final Review, acceptance by ESA SSC Austria of all deliverables due under the Contract and fulfilment of all contractual obligations by the Applicant under the Contract.

What can the funding be used for? Which costs are eligible? Does it cover the VAT?
The funding can be used for costs that are necessary to the execution of the project. These costs must be incurred by the beneficiary during the contract term and recorded in its accounts. They should be incurred during the contract term. Costs must be without VAT, interest owned, or duties. Additional details can be found in the Open Call documentation.
Can the funding be spent outside of Austria?

ESA Spark Funding shall be spent in Austria unless the product/service is not available or in the event of an international collaboration (e.g. Product Developer is located in Austria but the Space Technology Provider is located elsewhere). In any case, the amount of ESA Spark Funding Austria spent outside of Austria shall not exceed 50%.

Is the financial incentive De Minimis relevant?

No, the ESA Spark Funding financial incentive is not De Minimis relevant.

ESA Spark Funding Austria is part of ESA Space Solutions Austria, the hub for space-enabled businesses in Austria
Transferring space technology to new applications helps boost Europe’s global competitiveness, forge numerous start-up companies, benefit regional economies and lead to new European jobs and growth.

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