ESA’s TEC Directorate provides engineering support, tools, expertise, laboratory and testing facilities to all programmes of the Agency and to European and international partners.

Our Directorate functions as ESA’s R&D factory, ensuring a steady stream of new technology that we help to take their first steps on the road to maturity. On top of this role, TEC offers external parties a unique research and development infrastructure:

High tech laboratories and test facilities and specialist sections with open doors to many scientific applications, covering every aspect of the space environment.


TEC develops key technologies to allow Europe to achieve cost efficiency improvements with each space system generation, fostering innovation and enhancing European technological independence and the availability of European resources for critical technologies. 

Technology is also a key element of competitiveness to underpin the continued viability of European space industry’s – considering that almost 50% of its turnover comes from global commercial markets. Novel technologies open up fresh markets and enable innovative applications.

The Directorate in numbers

The Directorate oversees a set of R&D programmes aimed at sourcing innovation beyond the immediate market horizon, while de-risking the innovation process for industry. 

The reach of these programmes extends far beyond the main industrial primes and system integrators to small–to–medium enterprises (SMEs), recognised as Europe’s leading source of technical innovation. 

TEC also oversees the coordination of European standardisation efforts to boost industrial cost-effectiveness and the general technological state-of-the-art, while also levelling the playing field for smaller companies – opening up new opportunities to compete based on standardised working and interfaces.

Cross-Cutting Initiatives  


Non dependence