The Technology Network (TECNET)

Mastering technology in due time is mandatory to limit project development risks, improve the competitiveness of European Industry in commercial markets and minimise European dependence on products procured from sources outside Europe. As technology is developed in ESA under several programmes, it is necessary to have a clear process spanning from definition to evaluation of technology development activities.

The ESA-wide Process for Technology R&D Management has as main objective to undertake well-planned coordinated developments in answer to user requirements, missions needs, industry competitiveness, non-dependence, so as to have technology ready at the maturity level required at each stage by the users. 

TECNET supports the ESA-wide Process for Technology R&D Management and ensures that the appropriate information concerning technology activities is adequately shared amongst ESA technology key players, both vertically and horizontally. 

TECNET also supports other Technology Management processes such as the ESA Technology Strategy , Technology Harmonisation and any Agency-wide evaluation of technology.

It consists of 8 Working Groups (application driven): 

  • Earth Observation (EO) 
  • Telecommunications (TEL)  
  • Navigation (NAV) 
  • Science (SCI) 
  • Exploration (EXP) 
  • Space Transportation (ST)  
  • Space Safety (SAF) 
  • Generic Technologies and Techniques (GEN)   

Each TECNET Working Group is chaired by a representative of the relevant Directorate, and composed of representatives of the various Competence Domains and the other Directorates.

The TECNET Chairs Forum (TCF) ensures coordination amongst the Working Groups and deals with agency-wide technology matters. TCF is chaired by the ESA Director of TEC. 

The TEC Directorate ensures the secretariat of all TECNET Working Groups and the secretariat of the TCF.

The main tasks of TECNET are:

Identifying the user missions and associated requirements

Prioritising the technology requirements

Soliciting, evaluating and selecting activity proposals for technology development 

Allocating activities to technology programmes

Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the technology actions related to their domain 

ESA SharePoint TECNET page