The Directorate of Science is built around two major pillars, the Science Programme and Core Technology Programme. Both are mandatory.
The smaller optional Prodex programme, provides support to both major programmes.
The Science Programme develops and operates scientific space missions in areas of Astronomy, Solar System Science and Fundamental Physics.
The Core Technology Programme compliments the Science Programme by providing advance preparation of the critical enabling technologies required for successful mission development.
Prodex (PROgramme de Développement d'Expériences scientifiques) is an ESA optional programme that offers institutions and industry the opportunity to work on ESA experiments by funding the industrial development of scientific instruments or experiments, proposed by Institutes or Universities in the Participating States, that have been selected by ESA for one of its programmes.
Prodex helps countries to obtain a fair return on their ESA investments through targeted industrial contracts. It also promotes scientific and industrial excellence and competitiveness in the participating states.
How to participate?
In the mandatory Science Programme, industrial contracts are awarded to companies from the ESA Member States in open competition according to the ESA Code of Best Practices.
The Invitations to Tender for all programmes in the Science Directorate are issued on the ESA EMITS website together with eligibility restrictions as applicable.
The ESA Code of Best Practices is published on a dedicated website and can be accessed here.