Within SysNova, the Agency will undertake periodic (normally once a year) an Announcements of Opportunity addressing Technology Reference Studies (TRS), which are technical challenges specific for each AO.
AO will in general be released during the 2nd or 4th quarter of the year and its publication will be in the form of an ITT published on ESA's Electronic Invitation to Tender System ( EMITS )
Following the publication of the AO, bidders fulfilling the eligibility criteria shall submit a Challenge Response (short 20 pages proposal) addressing at least two Technology Reference Studies.
A maximum of 6 Challenge Responses will be selected, on the basis of the evaluation criteria, and funded by ESA for the further development into Challenge Analysis (detailed analysis of one of the Technology Reference Studies).
The performance of the Challenge Analysis shall have a duration of no more than 2 months.

The evaluation of the Challenge Analysis draft final report will be performed, two weeks from its submission, by an internal board of ESA members on the basis of the following evaluation criteria:

  1. Background and track record of the proposed study team in relevant scientific and technical areas, including space systems engineering and basic science and technology research.
  2. Understanding of underlying physical principles, quality and novelty of proposed programme of work. Thoroughness of discussion of problem areas relevant to the concepts being addressed. Work shall be based on solid scientific and technical grounds, and shall be new in the ESA context i.e. the solution should not have been the subject of a previous ESA contract; if related ESA activities exists, technical elements that have not yet been investigated in previous studies shall be present in the proposed work.
  3. Adequacy of project plan and team coordination approach.

A Final Review will be held one month after the submission of the draft final report. This session will involve both Study teams and ESA members.
Following the Final Review, ESA panel will award the prize to the best Challenge Analysis(s).