Portuguese Space Agency funds scientific projects in space exploration [Results]
Portugal wants to boost scientific research in space exploration. Through ESA's PRODEX programme, the Portuguese Space Agency will finance scientific projects carried out by Portuguese research centers or universities.
[Last updated on 5 December 2024 with the call results].
This Tuesday, July 4, the Portuguese Space Agency launches the initiative PROSSE (PROdex for Science in Space Exploration), which intends to support scientific research projects in space exploration. This initiative is carried out under the Portuguese subscription to the PRODEX programme of the European Space Agency (ESA). It intends to finance scientific projects relevant to space exploration or other sectors of the economy and society. The PROSSE initiative will support projects developed in terrestrial or suborbital infrastructures, including the Space Rider, the International Space Station or other platforms. Assignments that provide for scientific research on the Moon or Mars will also be considered.
“We are including here activities related to the use of space-like platforms, microgravity platforms, radiation facilities, or the International Space Station itself, which may lead to developments relevant to space exploration or to carrying out research and development for other sectors, such as the pharmaceutical sector, which can benefit from the unique conditions of space,” says Joan Alabart, Industrial Relations and Projects Officer of the Portuguese Space Agency.
The Agency will award 420,000 euros to the PROSSE initiative for 2023-2025. To qualify, each project must request a maximum support of 280,000 euros. “We estimate mobilising around one-third of the total budget each year unless the quality of the projects submitted and the amount still available leads us to consider the maximum level of funding for any project,” explains Joan Alabart.
Funding for the PROSSE initiative is made possible through national participation in ESA’s PRODEX (Programme for the Development of scientific EXperiments), which supports projects in areas as broad as astronomy, astrophysics, space physics, and planetary sciences, among others. In the latest Ministerial Council, held in Paris last November, Portugal allocated four million euros to PRODEX.
“Until now, by subscribing to PRODEX, we were ensuring that scientists and researchers working in Portugal could participate in the scientific projects of space missions managed by ESA. With the launch of PROSSE, we intend to broaden the opportunity for research relevant to the programmatic objectives of the “Portugal Space 2030” strategy”, explains Marta Gonçalves, Education and Science Officer of the Portuguese Space Agency.
PROSSE is open to scientific projects in space exploration that are developed in Portugal — except for components that, by their nature, require the use of platforms located abroad — for a maximum period of 36 months.