ESA (European Space Agency) Logo
SCE² (Space Cooperative Europe SCE) Logo
BSGN (Business in Space Growth Network) Logo

The Call for Ideas is now closed, thank you for submitting your project idea, you can keep exploring opportunities to collaborate using the platform.

Application is now closed
Timeline of the BSGN AgriFood Open Call for Ideas 2022 by SCE² (Space Cooperative Europe)
Why Space?

We are all seeing the extensive activity in space taking place now – especially around the exploration agenda. What is less well known is how the unique phenomena of space: microgravity, the extreme conditions and the vantage point can support terrestrial innovation, novel R&D and superior manufacturing.  

Conducting sustainable agriculture and food research in space is the next step to reach that goal. And best of all: space is more accessible than you might think. That’s why ESA and its partners have started this Accelerator that is primarily focused on:
  • Seeds and Plant Nutrition
  • Crop Monitoring and Management
  • Food Behaviour, Processing and Green Packaging
How Low Earth Orbit Phenomena helps your Agrifood project?

Space phenomena of microgravity, the extreme conditions of space and the vantage point help solve the biggest challenges in terrestrial agriculture and food including:  
  • Extreme conditions of drought, rain, salinity, and heat & cold tolerance
  • Plant and crop diseases, pests & parasites and toxic fertilizers
  • Soil health and crop management
  • Food behaviour and processing optimization
  • Sustainable and green packaging
Space allows for different behaviour of living organisms with elements like changes in gene expression, morphological modifications, and changes in cellular physiology. Microbes are more virulent which helps understanding how to create better methods for treating and preventing plant diseases. Earth observation & remote sensing solutions can aid in optimal crop monitoring and management and finally microgravity’s effects on sedimentation, separations, flow profiles and novel material productions can support better food manufacturing and packaging processes. 

Ultimately, space solutions will help improve crop yields, fight plant disease, improve soil health and optimise food processing and packing solutions including creating green alternatives.  All changes that are NEEDED RIGHT NOW!
What do you get?
You get access to the AgriFood Space Research Community and a team of technical, business and finance experts. You will participate in webinars and lectures about the advantages of research in space. You will be part of a Flight Project Journey, from submission of your project idea into an acceleration programme to a financed flight project. This Accelerator offers a state-of-the art infrastructure that fosters your space-based idea to focus on terrestrial challenges! You can create new opportunity and even start a new business based on your innovation.
Technical Support pictogram

Technical Support

We support end-to-end services for the project owner. This includes facilitation of all technical aspects necessary to translate your terrestrial concept to space-based viability.
Business Support pictogram

Business Support

We will support your business journey from idea concept through project to on-orbit activity and ultimately to a business model that best matches your goals.  Commercialization roadmaps, market and customer studies and application analyses can underpin a successful commercial enterprise.
Community pictogram
We are building a community dedicated to AgriFood & Space through a community platform where you can share ideas, access to peers and experts for enabling collective intelligence and cooperation. Join it now!
Investors pictogram


The selected Project Ideas will be funded. The funding will be provided by third party sponsorship and co-financing by ESA. The more Sponsor Funding the Accelerator can generate, the more Project Ideas can be financed. Ultimately, funding for your great idea is part of the service!
What are the benefits of joining BSGN AgriFood?

We understand both the critical issues associated with the terrestrial side of agriculture and food as well as the benefits in Low Earth Orbit.

We are the bridge for you to find incredible space-based opportunity for your earth-based industry!

What fields of application are possible?

Agriculture and Food are focused on 3 primary categories:
  • Plant nutrition and health
  • Crop management and monitoring
  • Food behaviour, processing, and packaging
Within these categories, we have seen big interest in the following themes:
  • Remote sensing especially related to soil health
  • Water management
  • Sustainability
And ultimately, we are focused on dealing with the hardest issues the terrestrial industry is facing:
  • Increasing crop yields
  • Better monitoring techniques
  • Creating drought resistant and hearty plants
  • Plant microbes
  • Food optimization and formulation
But if you have ideas in areas not mentioned above, we’ll be happy to discuss!
Who can apply?

Applicants residing in any of the ESA Member and the Associated States who are part of the European Exploration Envelope Programme (E3P):

Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Latvia, and the United Kingdom.
What is the process outline?

The process consists of two Steps.
  • Step 1:  Open Call for Project Ideas Step 1 consists of creating a Project Idea. After you applied and the deadline of the Open Call for Project Ideas has passed, your Project Idea will be evaluated. If selected, you will be guided in step 2 to create a concrete Project Proposal. 

  • Step 2:  Open Call for Projects In Step 2 your Project Idea needs to be worked into a Project Proposal. After you have submitted your Project Proposal, the deadline has passed, and your application meets the basic requirements, you will receive an invitation within a week. Then you will be asked to give a presentation to the Tender Evaluation Board (TEB) which will be held around three weeks after the deadline. 
Use cases

We have examples of previous flight projects in the agrifood area that can help you formulate an idea!
  • Plant Growth Experiment - observed the development and growth of plants (Arabidopsis) in a low gravity environment (read more)

  • Seedling Growth 3 - explored the interactions between light and gravity sensing in plants (read more)

  • Multi-Trop - evaluated the role of three stimuli - gravity, water and nutrients - on plant growth. Previous research shows that plant roots grow randomly without specific direction in microgravity, presenting a challenge when developing facilities to cultivate plants in space (read more)

  • Canes - studied the impact of the ISS conditions on the ability of canes to be developed into a viable plant when they return back on Earth. Secondly, the material will be used to quantify for the first time the mutational rate as well as the epigenetic changes in a wood plant which is considered to be a fruit tree model. (read more)

  • Seed Germination - studied how the lack of gravitational forces influences growth mechanisms and could lead to a better structured strand of barley (Budweiser Use Case)

  • Plant stress response - understood better stress mechanisms of plants, leading to varieties that are more resistant to climate change as well as obtaining better vertical agriculture techniques (Syngenta Use Case)

The Erasmus Experiment Archive provides you already a good overview about decades of Space Research. Please, have a look, or ask for help!
Join as a project team

Take your project to the next level:
  • Find out why it would make sense to conduct your agrifood project in space by watching our webinar.
    Webinar held on Thursday, October 13th at 16:00 (CET)
    • Download the PDF presentation
    • Watch the video of the webinar:

  • Apply to get funding and support for your idea / project from ESA and BSGN Members
  • Boost the development of your project

The BSGN Industry Accelerator Agriculture & Food application process
For a successful application, please follow the indications described below.
1 - Register to the BSGN AgriFood Community

2 - Get support from experts on BSGN AgriFood Community Platform

3 - Fill in the online Application Form (Step 1) before October 26th, 2022 at 23:59 CET

4 - Then we will confirm your application

5 - You will hear if you got selected for Step 2 or not


1. Who can apply?
Applicants residing in any of the ESA Member and the Associated States who are part of the European Exploration Envelope Programme (E3P): Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Latvia, and the United Kingdom.

2. Must I be a legal entity for Step 1?
No, you can be a legal entity or a natural person.

3. Do I need to have experience within the Low Earth Orbit Environment?
No experience is needed as we will match you with experts.

4. When is the deadline exactly?
You can submit your Project Idea by the 26th of October, 2022 at 23h59.

5. Is it free to participate?
Yes, there are no costs incurred in phase 1 for the applicants.

6. What happens after I apply?
After you have submitted your Project Idea, your Project Idea will be reviewed by the BSGN Industry Accelerator Agriculture & Food. If your project is selected, you will go into step 2.

7. Who will be reviewing the Project Ideas?
Project Ideas will be reviewed by a panel composed of both personnel from the BSGN Industry Accelerator Agriculture & Food and ESA

8. Who gets financing?
Only legal entities get a financing.
9. What will happen after Step 2?
If your project idea is selected at the Tender Evaluation Board (TEB), you will go into Phase 2 and join the BSGN Industry Accelerator Agriculture & Food under the following conditions:
  • The BSGN Industry Accelerator Agriculture & Food application process is considered complete by ESA

  • Its implementation has been authorized internally by ESA Delegates Bodies

  • Programme Fund has been secured and is available on both ESA and SCE² sides.
10. Can I submit several proposals?
Yes, you can submit multiple proposals and projects if you fill in all the required documents. However, submitting several proposals will not have an impact on the selection of the proposal themselves.

11. What happens with my idea after submissions?
As far as allowed by law, any title held by the applicant to his/her idea shall remain vested in him/her. An application for the Open Call for Project Ideas will not result in the acquisition of any title whatsoever to the idea.

12. What do we expect?
A good Project Proposal contains a good Project Overview (Strength, Project Background and Overview, Project’s Fit with Accelerator Focus), a Project Implementation (Project Plan, Hardware & Facilities, Cost and Risk), the Outcomes and Value Impact (Economic, Innovation, Humankind Benefit), the Team Experience and European Participation.
Join as an investor

Do you want to support researchers to use space as catalyst for solutions on Earth, i.e. how to feed humankind in future? Please, contact us, we are looking for Sponsors via a Sponsoring Association. The more money the Accelerator collects the more project ideas can be supported.

Benefits for investors:
  • New discoveries & patents
  • Make way for improved processes and cost savings
  • Incredible brand value
  • Solve societal issues
The pool of selected projects will be sponsored through a Programme Fund. Your contributions as investors will be completed with funding from ESA.

Join our community platform to get in touch with the people behind the BSGN project.
Consortium Partners
SCE² Space Cooperative Europe
EurA Ag
SBIC Noordwijk
Space Cooperative Europe SCE
85521 Ottobrunn, Germany