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NoR Sponsorship

The increasing size of available satellite mission data sets, together with Information Computer Technology (ICT) advances has resulted in a paradigm shift. Data do not need any more to be downloaded by the user to their local machine for further processing, on the contrary it is the user who can find the data and process them in cloud environments hosted by ICT providers with expandable processing capabilities. The Network of Resources (NoR) is an ESA initiative to facilitate the use of cloud environments by users, building on and enlarging the previous OSEO (Open Science for Earth Observation) call.

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 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 to 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, for which the same services can be ordered on the NoR on a commercial basis, outside ESA support.


Available resources

Two types of resources are available on the NoR portal for which NoR has sponsorship agreements in place:

  • an EO Resource Tier Layer which consists of cloud infrastructures with collocated data and provides the ‘back-end’ functionality where users can host their tools, algorithms and services.
  • a front-end Platform Services Layer composed of the platform capabilities which provide enhanced functionality to the users and ease the access and use of EO datasets or provide support services.

Please create a shopping cart as part of a proposal submission. Please contact the help desk if any support is needed.


Eligibility for awarding of vouchers

In principle any user can apply for ESA sponsoring of NoR resources for scientific and industrial (i.e. ‘value-adding’) research projects exploiting satellite-based EO data. “Research” in this context shall mean any use that is not creating revenue (e.g. value-adders can apply for sponsoring also for pre-commercial demonstration).

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;
  • 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 result. Consequently, any sponsoring is limited to maximum 12 months, after which the user is expected to directly fund any required NoR resources;
  • 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).
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.

Resource Tier services are in principle directly available only to ESA EOEP-5 Block-4 projects, other applicants may consider to make use of a platform services, which act as front-ends.

Commitment and deliverables required from successful applicants

All successful applicants will be required to:

  • Give credit to the service provider and the NoR at any public presentation of the project results;
  • Provide a slide on the project result for publication at the NoR portal and ESA programmatic web site;
  • Provide a rating of the received service at the NoR portal;
  • Provide a final report at project closure, highlighting positive and negative experiences during service consumption;
  • Authorise ESA, the NoR operator and the resource providers to refer to the sponsored project in their own promotion.

Consumption of the provided ICT resources will be monitored and in case of misuse of the allocated resources, ESA reserves the right to revoke unused part of the sponsoring.



The applicant is requested to submit their request via the links below and an ESA-SSO account. During the submission process the applicant is invited to choose (where available) the required resources via the NoR portal. The portfolio of the portal is in continued evolution. A NoR helpdesk (contact details available on the NoR portal itself) is available to support the applicant in the selection of the needed services. In case the services are not available please simply specify what is requested during the application process.

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

  • eligibility and priority of the applicant;
  • accordance with the specific objectives of the opportunity;
  • merits of the proposed projects and probability of follow-on;
  • appropriate and cost-efficient use of granted resources.

Following submission, each proposal will be reviewed considering the eligibility and the priority as specified above. 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 fund a proposal only partially² or to reject the proposal without further justification.

Submit a request to receive sponsorship via an ESA EO Sign In account:

Pre-requisite to access submission area

A pre-requisite to access the Submission area is to be logged-in to My Earthnet .
In case you are not registered to ESA Earthnet, please select the button Register: this will lead you to the ESA EO Sign In registration area, where you will have to create your EO Sign In account and provide your email address. A registration link will be then sent to the provided email address, allowing to activate your registration. In case of problems with EO Sign In registration, please contact us.