1. Introduction. defining and producing new materials with advanced properties, or optimizing industrial processes.

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1 Call for Interest Commercial Agents to market and sell the use of the facilities, resources and services on board the International Space Station in the Materials and Processes sector across Europe 1. Introduction The Opportunity The European Space Agency (ESA) intends to appoint a Commercial Agent to market and sell the use of ESA s facilities of the International Space Station (ISS) and the related resources and services. This appointment will be made to agents who will operate in the market sector related to Materials and Processes 1. The Material and Processes sector covers a vast range of disciplines e.g. New materials, Nanotechnology, Mass and Energy transport and Combustion. The Environment The ISS is the largest space science and technology venture ever undertaken. It is a cooperative programme between Europe, United States, Russia, Canada, and Japan (the International Partners) for the joint design, development, operation and utilisation of a permanently inhabited space station in low Earth orbit. It represents a major achievement in terms of human endeavour, technology development and international co-operation. Several modules of the ISS are already in space, visible to the naked eye, flying at a near earth orbit of 400 km above the Earth, with a permanent crew living and working on board. The primary purpose of the ISS is to provide research and development facilities. As well as providing access to the ISS for scientific users sponsored by governments, the International Partners have agreed to open up the use of the ISS to commercial organisations, both in the research field and in non-research areas. As one of the International Partners, ESA has access to a number of facilities, resources and services on board the space station. Because ESA has taken the decision to allocate up to 30% of this access to commercial users, finding and servicing commercial users becomes a major task and challenge for ESA and it is for this reason that ESA is extending its commercial presence through commercial agents. The Process ESA has already contracted a network of Commercial Agents in the Life Sciences sector, specifically for the Biotechnology, Health, Food and Nutrition disciplines. With this Call for Interest ESA intends to solicit the interest of European companies willing to take up the role of leaders and/or partners of a network of Commercial Agents for the Materials and Processes market sector. Following this, ESA intends to appoint Commercial Agents for the selected Market Sector throughout Europe via a competitive process. 1 Materials and Processes indicate the research into materials properties to be employed in computer modeling, defining and producing new materials with advanced properties, or optimizing industrial processes.

2 2. ISS Commercialisation In the past, human space flight systems have offered few opportunities for commercial use outside the space industry. Much of the commercial interest has rested on spin-offs from space technology, but the ISS is set to change this pattern. The research facilities aboard the ISS, together with regular access and the opportunity for continual use, offer an unprecedented opportunity for industry to conduct its own Research and Development (R&D) under weightlessness and other space conditions. The reason for commercialising the ISS is to foster the economic development and exploitation of space, by stimulating research in space, exploiting and supporting innovative uses of the ISS by space and non-space industry and to improve products and processes on Earth through their use in space. In addition to the facilities and resources aboard the ISS, ESA can provide, directly or indirectly, a complete range of end-to-end services under promotional conditions to some of its European customers 2. In order to provide these end-to-end services at the best conditions for the customer, ESA has signed a Co-operation Agreement with a number of private companies (the Co-operation Agreement Industrial Partners). 2.1 Commercial Agent organisational structure ESA will contract with only one Commercial Agent Network; however the Commercial Agent Network itself may be made up of a number of different organisations since it is unlikely that one organisation on its own will have both the required geographical coverage together with the spread of detailed knowledge across the various disciplines within the sector. Where there is more than one organisation involved a consortium may be formed in which case the consortium will appoint a prime agent, who will act as the interface to ESA. This does not of course preclude a single organisation from fulfilling the role of a complete Commercial Agent Network on its own. The Commercial Agent Network will be responsible for its own marketing and selling activities under the overall strategy developed and coordinated by ESA. In particular, each Commercial Agent will be responsible for acquiring customers, providing the tailored products and services. In effect, the Commercial Agents will be operating as business units under the overall strategic control of ESA. The Commercial Agent will be responsible for all of their own operating costs with the exception of marketing contributions provided by ESA (see section 3). It should be noted that a Prime Agent would in addition to acting as the leader of a consortium and the interface to ESA, also be responsible for gaining business in its own discipline(s). 2 Promotion Support can be provided by ESA and its industrial partners to customers belonging to the ESA Member States that participate in the ISS Exploitation Programme i.e. Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. Customers from other countries may receive Promotion Support from ESA s industrial partners. 2

3 2.2 The Commercial Agent s tasks The major tasks that the Commercial Agent is expected to accomplish, may be summarised as follows: o To carry out its own market research and business-to-business marketing related to selling the use of ESA s facilities of the ISS and the related resources and services; o To identify and acquire customers within the Market Sector to whom the attributes of the space station environment can add value to their business; o To define the required end-to-end services, obtain the required Promotion Support, if applicable; draft the commercial proposal and maintain the overall management during the implementation phase. 3. ESA s contribution to the Commercial Agent Exclusivity conditions within Market Sector A four year contract (two years + two years) Full training in product i.e. the facilities, resources and services related to the ISS Contribution to Commercial Agent s own marketing activities Ongoing branding and marketing to raise the image of the ISS in the market place in general Comprehensive sales pack Attractive financial rewards achievable through management fees Promotion support available from industry 4. Response to Call for Interest If you feel that your organisation has the required skills and ability to act as a Commercial Agent then you are invited to respond to this Call for Interest by presenting to us your business case in the form of a brief paper, which should address the following questions: Your Company Profile Please give a brief description of your company in terms of corporate structure, size and performance and whether you have entered new markets previously Market Sector Please indicate your current involvement with relevant disciplines of the Materials and Processes market sector, the number of years of operation and in what capacity (e.g. manufacturer, agent, sales or distribution) Geographical coverage The main focus of ESA for commercialisation is the business potential within Europe. The Commercial Agent should cover as many as possible of the ESA Member States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom) and potentially other European Countries. Please indicate the country or geographical areas that you cover and how this geographical coverage is implemented (Subsidiaries, partners, etc.). 3

4 Assessment of Materials and Processes market sector or relevant discipline. Please include your analysis of the market, including size, characteristics, stakeholders and business potential. Role Please indicate, given the disciplines and geographical areas that you cover, whether you would wish to offer your services as a Commercial Agent responsible for providing the complete Commercial Agent Network covering all geographical areas and all disciplines and acting as the interface to ESA (circle 1 in diagram below), or as a Commercial Agent responsible for your own discipline(s) and geographical area within an overall Commercial Agent s Network with the option of being either the Prime Agent leading the consortium (e.g. circle 2 below) or a Sub-Agent within the consortium (e.g. circles 3 or 4 below). Below is a diagram showing some of the various ways in which business relationships could operate. Business strategy Given what you know of the ISS and space in general together with what has been written in this document, please give an outline strategy (marketing and sales) for developing the market together with an indication of timescales. Responses should be limited to a maximum of 10 pages, excluding attachments. All responses to the present Call For Interest will be treated in confidence. 4

5 The responses should be sent to: Mr. Benjamin Jeusset ESTEC Contracts Service for ISS Operations (RES-PIE) European Space Agency ESTEC Keplerlaan 1, 2200 AG Noordwijk The Netherlands Responses should arrive at the latest by June, 2 nd 2006 at 13h Selection of Commercial Agents by ESA The present Call For Interest is an invitation to European companies belonging to the Materials and Processes market sector to demonstrate their interest in becoming a Commercial Agent undertaking the tasks outlined in section 2.2 here above. Following the results of the present Call For Interest, ESA will evaluate and assess the capabilities of the candidates to become part of a consortium constituting the Commercial Agent Network of ESA for the Market sector concerned. As far as the final selection process is concerned, it is envisaged that if the Call For Interest process is successful in eliciting quality responses, ESA will decide to launch a restrictive tender action addressed only to the companies short listed at the Call For Interest stage. However, ESA reserves the right either to determine an alternative means of selection at the end of the Call For Interest process, or not to proceed further. 6. Further information Further information can be gained from the following URL s: European Space Agency - Human Spaceflight Exploration Commercial Promotion Office. Question can be addressed to : Mr. Benjamin Jeusset ESTEC Contracts Service for ISS Operations (RES-PIE) European Space Agency ESTEC Keplerlaan AG Noordwijk The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0) Fax: +31 (0)

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