ESA

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

The development of technology – making new things to do new things – is central to ESA’s existence and the Technology Development Element has given rise to most of the Agency’s advanced technologies.

Since 1975, TDE has been one of ESA’s Basic Activities. It's just one of the many activities and programmes that work together to help ESA prepare for the future but it is the only one that supports ESA across the entire spectrum of technical disciplines. Unlike the optional missions and programmes, it is funded on a mandatory basis.

The Technology Development Element (TDE) is responsible for early development stages across all service and technology domains. It tests the suitability of cutting edge ideas for space applications, keeping a central role in scientific activities. 

In the frame of this programme, ESA's Technology Strategy is implemented on a regularly updated 2-year rolling work plan.

~55M€IN CONTRACTS AWARDED
100%FUNDING OF ACTIVITIES
102M€WORK PLAN BUDGET
~150CONTRACTS PER YEAR

Programme in numbers and Key facts

Targeted for Technology:
100%
TRL Targeted (at the end of the activity):
up to 3-4
Procurement Policy:
Mandatory programme, Open Competitive (DN exceptional cases)
Call / ITT: 
Continuously throughout the year on ESA STAR
Call Restriction:
ESA Member States
Cycle: 
2 Year Work Plan/Procurement plans

HOW IT WORKS

Every two years, TDE produces a work plan, defined through the ESA Agency-wide Process for Technology R&D Management and TECNET. 

To support ESA’s technology targets, from 2021-2022 TDE will focus investments on digital engineering and COTS components development.

Projects are undertaken by European Academia and industry under ESA supervision. Recent examples include a 30% efficient spacecraft solar cell, an air-breathing engine for low-flying satellites, parachute designs for Mars and a laser tuner for advanced instruments.

Some TDE projects are undertaken specifically to meet the needs of missions to come, called a ‘technology pull’. Others take place as part of ESA’s cross-cutting initiatives focused on Advanced Manufacturing, for novel materials and production processes, Design 2 Produce for digitalisation of manufacturing, Clean Space to safeguard the orbital and Earth environments and Cyber Security for secure space systems.


Latest funding opportunities

Date openClose dateBudgetFieldTitle
22.02.202404.04.2024200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSADVANCED STRUCTURE WITH EMBEDDED PULSATING HEAT PIPES FOR PLANAR ACTIVE ANTENNA
21.12.202322.02.2024500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSHIGH PERFORMANCE AND MODULAR BATTERIES FOR FUTURE LAUNCHERS
08.02.202421.03.2024500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSDESIGN MITIGATION TECHNIQUES EVALUATION OF ADVANCED COTS FPGAS FOR ESA MISSIONS
22.01.202405.03.2024200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSRELIABLE, MODULAR AND SCALABLE EUROPEAN BATTERY RANGE - EXPRO PLUS
14.02.202427.03.2024200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSHEAT RECOVERY AND THERMAL MANAGEMENT SUB-SYSTEM FOR DEEP SPACE MISSIONS
12.12.202305.02.2024200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSENABLING TECHNOLOGIES FOR INTEROPERABLE GNSS AUGMENTATION FOR RAILWAY - EXPRO PLUS
07.12.202319.01.2024200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSEXPANDED STRENGTH AND DUCTILITY ENVELOPE OF METALS BY MICROSTRUCTURE PROCESSING - EXPRO PLUS
03.11.202305.01.2024200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSFLUID-COOLED ROBOT SERVO TRAIN (FROST) - EXPRO PLUS
30.10.202327.11.2023200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSADVANCED CONTROL TECHNIQUES FOR INCREASED ON BOARD AUTONOMY - EXPRO PLUS
31.10.202312.12.2023500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSADHA MASS MEMORY MODULE (A3M)
18.01.202401.03.2024200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSDISTRIBUTED BEAMFORMING TELECOM PAYLOAD ARCHITECTURES - EXPRO PLUS
25.10.202323.11.2023200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSTECHNOLOGICAL ENABLERS FOR INTEGRITY ASSURANCE AT USER LEVEL IN MULTI-LAYER PNT ARCHITECTURES - EXPRO PLUS
20.10.202317.11.2023200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSENABLING TECHNOLOGIES FOR GEOLOCATION OF MASS MARKET TERMINALS FROM SPACE SUPPORTED BY NEW SEARCH AND RESCUE CONCEPTS - EXPRO PLUS (RE-ISSUE)
05.10.202302.11.2023200-500 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSEOL PASSIVE DETUMBLING SERVICE FOR REMOVAL OF NOT OPERATIVE SATELLITES IN LEO/MEO/GEO ORBITS - EXPRO PLUS
22.09.202322.10.202350-100 KEUROTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTSSTUDY OF IMPROVED TTC SUB-SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE - EXPRO PLUS
Latest closed studies
17.02.2024

Magnetic Wobbling Gear

#TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
16.02.2024

New Concepts of High Power Ku-band Isolators

#TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
16.02.2024

Lightweight C-Band Corrugated Horn made of CFRP

#TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
16.02.2024

High rate Flexible High Order SCCC demodulator and decoder for SCIENCE X-band

#TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT - THE TECHNOLOGICAL NUCLEUS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

DISCOVER ESA'S TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY

For any enquiries about TDE

Contact us via Email

Eike Kircher

Deputy Head of Technology Programmes Office