On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the number of recorded cases was more than 118,000 in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives. Moreover, the alarming levels of spread and severity has led WHO to characterise the COVID-19 as a pandemic outbreak.
ESA will launch on 31st March 2020 an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) inviting companies to submit their ideas for deploying and demonstrating services to respond to the emergency that Europe, and especially Italy, is facing because of the spreading of the coronavirus. The AO is issued in cooperation with the Italian Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitization (MID).
ESA and the Italian Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitization (MID) signed at the end of 2019 a Memorandum of Intent to cooperate with the objective of pursuing space based activities delivering innovation and digitalization for citizens and communities. Since the outbreak of the virus and its tremendous impact on the life of citizens, ESA and MID have decided to focus its joint actions for supporting citizens in the current emergency.
Companies responding to the AO are invited to propose Demonstration Projects dedicated to the deployment and demonstration of pre-operational services, addressing the topics of Healthcare or Education.
The main objectives of this AO are:
- Help the Italian citizens and professionals of the health and educational sector to deal with the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak;
- Support the development and the adoption of services in health and in education to sustain the Italian community in reacting to the coronavirus outbreak;
- Demonstrate the benefit provided by the utilization of space-assets integrated with other novel technologies in these extraordinary circumstances;
- Offer the opportunity to economic operators to deploy and demonstrate application solutions based on space for the benefit of citizens, local authorities and enterprises.
The proposed services shall be deployed in Italy, and can additionally be demonstrated in other geographies and countries, to the benefit of user communities which are facing similar exceptional challenges.
Text source: www.business.esa.int/funding/invitation-to-tender/space-response-to-covid-19-outbreak