CEOI 15th Call for EO Technology and Instrument Development Proposals

On behalf of the UK Space Agency, the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI) is pleased to announce its Fifteenth EO Technology Call, with the aim to solicit new and innovative ideas for EO technology developments, and to further develop more mature technologies towards space-readiness. All proposals should be aligned with the objectives of the UKSA EO Technology Strategy [RD4]. Furthermore, technologies that have applications beyond climate monitoring and the environment (e.g., other civil applications, defence dual use) are also encouraged.

The selection criteria will be:

  • excellence of the technical case;
  • the exploitation plan and enhancement of national capability;
  • the strength of the project team;
  • demonstration of sound project & risk management;
  • value for money and strength of the investment case;
  • collaboration and conformance to grant requirements

The total budget available for the Call will be in the order of £2.0M, with additional funding required from industrial bidders. The Call is released on 27th October 2022 with a closing date of Wednesday 16th December 2022 at noon. We note that the CEOI Management contract is in the process of being re-tendered. This means that bids will be collated by UKSA at EOIP@ukspaceagency.gov.uk and held until the new management consortium is in place, expected to be early in the New Year.

ThemeFunding and DurationEligible Activities
New and innovative ideas for EO technology development- Pathfinder grants of up to £75k, expected to be up to 6 months duration.
- Fast Track grants of up to £250k, expected to be up to 9 months duration;
- Feasibility studies
- Industrial research
- Experimental development
Flagship proposals for further maturation of recent technology innovationsFlagship grants from £500k to £1M are expected to be up to 24 months duration.- Industrial research
- Experimental development

Bidders’ Briefing

Online Briefing for Potential Bidders
There will be a briefing by virtual meeting (TEAMs) from 10:00 to 12:00 on 17th November 2022 to provide more information about the objectives of the call and provide an opportunity to ask general questions. Although attendance is optional, you are encouraged to join this meeting. All answers will be publicly available.


If you wish to participate in the Bidders Briefing, please email a request to Ms Charlotte Moretti, CEOI Technology Call Administrator at cm738@leicester.ac.uk by 11th November 2022.

The Bidders Briefing has now taken place. To view the presentation, please click here.

The Questions and Answers raised in the briefing:

  • Q1 – If the industrial participation within a proposal for a Fast Track project is a lead organisation and suppliers only, but does not include any partners, does that still qualify as the sort of teaming that CEOI are looking for, or would that disadvantage the bid during the assessment?

A – The bid is still eligible. Please be aware that in the assessment there is a 5-point mark on collaboration. If you have no partners, then you will be marked down. Please also check section 15 of the AoO regarding the intervention rates as this will be different.

  • Q2 – In the event that the call is significantly oversubscribed and you have projects that CEOI would like to fund in excess of the £2M budget, is there any scope that UKSA would increase the budget available?

A – Has happened in past, UKSA can consider releasing extra funding if the proposals are of a high quality. However, in the current economic climate this cannot be guaranteed.

  • Q3 – What is CEOI’s view on the role of a mission provider in this call?
    From our view having the mission defined is a key aspect of development as it will impact payload design and target use cases. From last year’s call, the feedback was that CEOI did not see the value in this. Is the stance here that the scope of this call only funds the design of the payloads in isolation

A – Mission providers are welcome and mission definition studies are regularly successful in receiving CEOI grant funding. If the feedback you have received at the last call is that the assessors did not see the value in what was proposed, it may be that they misunderstood your mission concept, thus indicating the proposal did not explain it clearly. Also, the link of the technology (and its enabling dimension) to EO must be unambiguous. The assessment of the concepts can only be based on the information contained in the proposal. If you need more explanation on the feedback you have received, we are happy to arrange a phone call. 

  • Q4 – Is it possible for an organisation to be involved in more than one bid, e.g. a lead on one bid and partner on another? If so, would this disadvantage either bid in any way?

A – Is it possible to be both, but you must outline resource bandwidth and provide reassurance that people have the time required to keep the projects on track. If this is not outlined then the proposals will be flagged as having potential risks.

  • Q5 – Are there explicit rules or requirements about how profit can, or cannot, be applied to these projects, and how this should be presented? Or is it just a matter of the CEOI evaluating the project finances and assessing the value for money?

A – This is a grant funding call. Contributions are expected so it is unusual to have profit for these projects. This Call is aimed at development for commercial or scientific impact. We would assess proposal on its value for money and return.

  • Q6 – For Pathfinders, are there intervention preferences or PV differences for collaboration?

 A – Intervention rates are the same for all types of projects. Please see section 15 of the AoO.


Notification of Intention to Bid

Applicants are required to notify CEOI of their intention to bid by email to the CEOI Call Administrator Charlotte Moretti, cm738@leicester.ac.uk, using the pro-forma at Section 12, by 11th November 2022 at noon.

The purpose of this is to gauge the size of the response and to inform the selection of reviewers. The notification and information therein will be held in confidence as described in Section 9.


Application Documents

Full details of the Open Call are contained in the ‘Announcement of Opportunity’ document, which is available here, together with the other bid documents:

Please note: Templates are provided for Annexes B2 and B3.  No templates are provided for Annexes A1, A2, B1, C1 or D1.

Deadline DateDeadline TimeApplication Stage
17th November 202210:00 to 12:00Bidders Briefing
11th November 202212:00 (noon)Intention to Bid form due
16th December 202212:00 (noon)Full Proposal Due

Call is issued on behalf of the UK Space Agency by the CEOI Partners, who will also manage the selected projects on behalf of the Agency.

For further information on any aspect of the 15th CEOI Call, please contact Dr Nicolas Leveque, CEOI Technical Director, with copy to Chris Brownsword CEOI Director. Contact details are available in the 15th Call Announcement of Opportunity document.