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On this page you will find details on who is eligible to participate, project requirements, competition timeline, and specifics on the deliverables that must be submitted. 

Who can participate?

All participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Individual candidates and small teams of up to four members. 

  • People aged 18 to 30 years old.

  • Reside, study, or work in a European or ESA member state (EU + Switzerland, Norway, and the UK). 

Project Requirements

​What do winning projects look like?

  • They are innovative and creative.

  • They have not been developed yet. 

  • There must be a clear and accurate link to space and sustainability. 

  • They connect with at least one of ESA's seven Corporate Social Responsibility objectives (mentioned below), and provide solutions to challenges that the space sector faces in its sustainable development.

  • It is preferred for Europe to be the focus of the project idea. 

Sustainability at ESA

ESA is a socially responsible organisation as it takes into maximum consideration the needs of future generations, with respect to the sustainability of its activities towards the environment, economy, and society.

Based on the ISO 26000 guidelines and stakeholders’ consultation, ESA created the following sustainability pillars.

ESA CSR Principles


The competition has two rounds:

Poster submissionproject ideas must be submitted before midnight CST on May the 5th of 2024 via the OSIP platform. This first deliverable is a poster, which must follow the Space for Sustainability Award poste template. These submissions will be evaluated by a committee of ESA experts who will shortlist a maximum of 15 projects for the second round. 

Paper submission: candidates that are shortlisted for round two will be asked to submit a paper with a more detailed approach to their project idea. The report will be evaluated by a high-level jury. Winners and the special mention of the jury will be notified via e-mail during the summer. 

The winner and special mention of the jury will be asked to prepare a presentation for the EISC 2024.

Relevant dates:

  1. Registration opening: 7th of March 2024

  2. Poster submission deadline: 5th of May 2024 (23.59 CST)

  3. Announcement of the pre-selected projects: 25th of May 2024

  4. Paper submission deadline: 23rd of June 2024 (23.59 CST)

  5. Winner and jury special mention are notified: July 2024

  6. EISC Plenary and Award Ceremony: September 2024

How to apply

Visit ESA's Open space Innovation Platform and login with your ESA employee access or register a new account if you do not work at ESA. Submit your project in a PDF file. 

File name: LastName_FirstName_S4S_2024.pdf


Round one: poster

For the first stage of the competition, participating teams are asked to submit a poster in a PDF format. The template contains four sections:

  1. Title + author information.

  2. Self evaluation

  3. Project summary  + key words.

  4. Body.

  5. Conclusion.

Space for Sustainability Award Poster Template
Round two: paper

Candidates selected by the jury to move on to round two will be asked to submit a paper via ESA's OSIP webpageThis paper should be five to seven pages long (without counting the cover). 

Candidates are asked to use the cover template for the first page of the document, however, there is no template for the rest of the paper. Participants are free to present their project in any way they deem fit. We do encourage the use of graphics, tables, and subtitles to make the texts engaging and easy to understand. 

The winning entry will be coherent, have a structured approach, have a clear link to space and sustainability, and it will include at least one ESA sustainability pillar. 

Evaluation criteria for the paper:

  1. There is a clear link to space and sustainability. 

  2. Sustainable development and ESA's sustainability pillars are taken into account. 

  3. The project idea has a general applicability in a well known context. 

  4. It considers European interests.

  5. There is a clear structure that includes relevant sections such as:

    • Background.​

    • Project idea description.

    • Implementation.

    • Expected results.

    • Potential risks.

    • Sources (this section is not considered in the page count).

A multidisciplinary approach is always encouraged. 

Please submit the paper in PDF format. 

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