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NoR Sponsorship

The NoR call aims to support research, development and pre-commercial users to innovate their working practices, moving from a data download paradigm towards a ‘bring the user to the data’ paradigm, considered essential for maintaining competitiveness of European data exploitation. The NoR Discovery Portal provides an ever increasing portfolio of innovative operational platform and cloud services operated by actors from participating countries¹. Usage of these resources shall accelerate the achievement of scientific goals and the sharing of the results, or approach the digital information market quicker and in an easier sustainable way.

The NoR will provide successful applicants with a voucher for the selected services, allowing free-at-point-of-use consumption for research, product development and up to pre-commercial demonstration. Vouchers must not be used to support any commercial revenue flows.

 

Sponsorship guidelines

 

Request procedure

To apply for an NoR Sponsorship to support a project, a user needs to go through the following steps:

  • Use the NoR Discovery Portal to review the available portfolio of resources and identify the most suitable solution;
  • Go through the Wizard procedure using the link visible on the main page of the Discovery Portal, corresponding to the chosen provider;
  • Export the Sponsorship Request from the Wizard page and email it to the address NoR@esa.int.
Evaluation process

The proposals will be reviewed by a panel of reviewers who assess the merits of the proposed project against the following evaluation criteria:

  • eligibility and priority of the applicant (see dedicated section);
  • merits of the proposed projects and probability of follow-on;
  • appropriate and cost-efficient use of granted resources.

ESA reserves the right to propose sponsoring of alternative resources for successful applicants, if these are considered to be a better use of ESA funds.

The applicant will be informed by email with the outcome of the evaluation (acceptance/rejection or request for modifications).

ESA reserves the right to sponsor a proposal only partially or to reject a sponsorship request without further justification.

 

Eligibility for awarding of vouchers

In principle any user can apply for ESA sponsoring of cloud resources through the NoR, for Research, Pre-commercial, Development and demonstration projects exploiting satellite-based EO data, that are not creating revenue.

Due to limitations of the available financial resources and to prevent misuse, the following constraints currently apply:

  • Sponsoring cannot be requested for services where the requesting entity (or subsidiary) are involved in the service provisioning, i.e. where there would be an interest in revenue generation from the sponsoring;
  • Resource Tier Services will generally only be sponsored for ESA projects and where the request is supported by the relevant Technical Officer. Other applicants may consider making use of platform services, acting as front-ends;
  • The scope of supporting research activities outside ESA projects in the use of platform services is to demonstrate a step-change in the speed to achieve the desired results. Consequently, any sponsoring is limited to maximum of 12 months and usually 5000€, after which the user is expected to directly fund any required NoR resources;
  • Any large systematic processing of datasets can only be funded if the resulting dataset remains available free and open on the supporting platform;
  • Sponsoring of fixed allocated processing resources is acceptable only if 24/7 use of these resources is demonstrated (dynamic allocation of processing resources is preferred);
  • Only registered Research Institutes and Commercial Entities can receive sponsoring for commercial data. The requests must also be received from an official email address of the Institute or Entity.

Priority in awarding of vouchers

ESA will further apply the following priorities in the awarding of vouchers:

  1. ESA projects;
  2. Entities from participating countries;
  3. Entities requesting resources in the framework of agreed collaborations;
  4. Entities from developing countries;
  5. Flagship projects valorising the used platform services;
  6. Other projects where a benefit for the funding member states is visible.
Commitment and deliverables required from successful applicants

Any user who receives ESA NoR Sponsorship commits to:

  1. Reference NoR on any papers/presentations published inserting the text “Project supported by ESA Network of Resources Initiative”.
  2. Provide quarterly feedback information when requested by ESA on the users’ satisfaction with the sponsored service.
  3. Within two months of the end of the Sponsorship period, provide a set of slides highlighting the project achievements and informing NoR@esa.int (see the dedicated section below).

Guidelines for the preparation of the project report

The set of slides should be a minimum 5-page presentation covering the following points:

  • The objectives of your project;
  • The description of how using tools and data within cloud environments helped you to achieve your goals;
  • The highlights of any benefits to society derived from your project.

The presentation should be in PDF format, and it should be written in English.  It is requested to include any links to any papers published or additional information on your project.

The presentation will be used to promote the Network of Resources Initiative on ESA or third-party platforms such as the NoR project listings on the ESA EO4Society website.