BSGN Advanced Materials Accelerator: Call for Proposals
Innovators and enterprises are invited to submit project proposals for demonstrating space-based advanced materials research, manufacturing, and associated technologies. BSGN is carried out under a programme of and funded by ESA, the European Space Agency.
The space environment makes it possible to manufacture materials of much higher quality and performance otherwise unattainable in the gravity-induced conditions on Earth. In Phase One of the new BSGN Advanced Materials Accelerator, several exciting opportunities for materials innovation in the microgravity environment have been identified in metallic materials, nanomaterials, advanced ceramics, novel polymers and fibres, and functional coatings and thin film systems.
Following the launch event of the BSGN Accelerator on 20th September (recording available here) and the deep dive workshop that took place on the 17th October, we are pleased to launch a Call for Proposals to develop a portfolio of commercially attractive projects involving innovations in advanced materials & manufacturing that will benefit from being developed in microgravity or the extreme conditions of Lower Earth Orbit.
Who is the Call for Proposals for?
- Materials innovators
- Industrial R&D users
- Commercial users of microgravity
- Platform developers
- Academic researchers
- Proposals must come from applicants (researchers, innovators or businesses) registered in one of the European Space Agency member states (view the list of ESA Member States & Cooperating States)
- We strongly encourage collaborative proposals – if you want help to find a project partner please get in touch at BSGNmaterials@sa.catapult.org.uk
- Uniquely leverage conditions of space environment such as microgravity platforms with the objective of driving innovations in advanced materials solutions and processes. Final innovation aims can be broad and across diverse material technologies, from composites to functional ceramics.
- Require space-based testing to mature technical solutions to known or new engineering challenges and lead to the creation of a new product for addressing space or terrestrial industrial applications, such as energy, electronics, aerospace and beyond.
- Require the use of microgravity platforms to advance the TRL of products and processes that have already demonstrated potential to produce a near-term commercialisation, such as space-grade optical fibres (ZBLAN) and semiconductor materials.
- Involve the development of enabling hardware (smart research or production facilities) for deployment in microgravity platforms to accelerate in-space research and manufacturing of advanced materials solutions. These can be as diverse as 3D printers, production and testing facilities for alloys, composites processing or other advanced manufacturing techniques and associated hardware.
- Involve the re-design and adaptation of terrestrial advanced materials or manufacturing processes to the space environment to enable/accelerate the development of infrastructure and emerging applications in space – such as Space-Based Solar Power which require next-generation composites and in-orbit manufacturing process that can function in the extreme conditions of space environment and microgravity.
This call is seeking proposals over three categories:
- Business and technology feasibility studies (up to €30k)
- Prototype development and on-ground preflight preparations (up to €200k)
- In-orbit demonstration, trails and testing (up to €750k)
NB There is no guarantee to be selected, and there is no guarantee that selected entities will be funded as we remain in the fund development phase and in negotiations with financial sponsors.
Competition opens: Wednesday 5th October 2022
Deep dive workshop: Monday 17th October 2022 (register here)
Competition closes: Wednesday 30th November 2022 5pm GMT (6pm CEST)
How to apply
To guide your submissions download and read Submission and Evaluation Overview click here.
Proposal templates are designed as pitch questionnaires. This is to:
- Give freedom and flexibility to the proposer pitching their innovations
- Be light-touch and concise
- Allow us to evaluate in a structured, fair and speedy manner
Selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals.
About the BSGN Advanced Materials Accelerator
The BSGN Advanced Materials Accelerator has been established to support innovators and enterprises developing new products, technologies, and services at the intersection of advanced materials and microgravity engineering. The accelerator promotes opportunities for engineering novel materials in microgravity, and the contract is carried out under the BSGN programme of and funded by ESA, the European Space Agency.
Who are the partners in the BSGN Advanced Materials Accelerator?
The accelerator is coordinated by the Satellite Applications Catapult in the UK with partners including Innovate UK KTN, the National Composites Centre (NCC), the Technological Institute of Plastics (AIMPLAS), the DLR Institute of Material Research (DLR) and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI).
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