PROSSE 2024 opens with seminar

The initiative by the Portuguese Space Agency seeks to fund scientific research projects in the field of space exploration.

The Portuguese Space Agency is set to launch a new edition of the PROSSE initiative (PROdex for Science in Space Exploration), aimed at financing scientific research projects in the field of space exploration. The activity is carried out in the context of Portugal’s subscription to the PRODEX program of the European Space Agency (ESA).

Before the opening of the next application phase, the Agency is organizing the PROSSE 2024 Seminar, which aims to “disseminate information about the program to potentially interested entities,” also serving as an opportunity for “clarification of doubts and questions regarding project submission,” explains Joan Alabart, Space Exploration, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Officer at the Portuguese Space Agency. The seminar takes place in an online format on February 2, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and the registration period runs until January 31.

Until 2025, the Portuguese Space Agency will allocate a total of 420,000 euros to the PROSSE initiative, with projects requiring a maximum support of 280,000 euros to be considered for evaluation. Eligible projects should be developed in scientific areas relevant to space exploration or other sectors of the economy and society, conducted in-ground or suborbital infrastructures, including the Space Rider, the International Space Station, or other platforms. Projects involving scientific research on the Moon or Mars will also be considered.

“We want to promote activities related to the use of space analog facilities and locations, microgravity platforms, radiation facilities, or the International Space Station itself that can lead to relevant developments for space exploration or conduct research and development for other sectors, such as the pharmaceutical sector, benefiting from the unique conditions of space,” adds Joan Alabart.

During the first call of PROSSE in 2023, 12 proposals were received, of which two were selected and are in the process of contracting with ESA.

The funding for this initiative is made possible through national participation in the PRODEX program (Programme for the Development of Scientific Experiments), for which Portugal has allocated four million euros, supporting projects in diverse areas such as astronomy, astrophysics, space physics, or planetary sciences.

“The Portuguese Space Agency allocates annually about a third of the total budget dedicated to PROSSE — unless the quality of the presented projects and the available funds lead us to consider the maximum funding level for any project,” notes Marta Gonçalves, Education and Science Officer at the Portuguese Space Agency.

“Portuguese participation in space exploration programs is still limited, and the national ecosystem is growing in this area. The PROSSE initiative allows the Portuguese Space Agency to create a framework for research in space exploration, particularly in academia, which will grow in the coming decades,” says Hugo André Costa, Executive of the Portuguese Space Agency.

Check the event agenda here.

Portugal Space
17 of January, 2024