Space outreach and education

One of the main challenges for the sustainability of the European space industrial fabric and the delivery of cutting-edge scientific achievements is to maintain highly qualified scientists, engineers and technicians including their lifelong learning. Space science and technology constitute important inspirational tools for exciting and motivating young people, and encouraging them to choose space related careers. Space is also a domain that easily captures the interest of students towards education paths in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Positive exposure to and experiences in the space domain can contribute moreover to building long-term partnerships between peoples from different cultural backgrounds and countries inside and outside Europe. The challenge is to design and run sustainable education and outreach activities which can act as catalysers, both inside and outside the classroom, motivating teachers and students at different ages and education levels.


The main delivery of the action shall be an initiative capable of attracting the interest of a significant number of students towards space and space-related themes, while creating at the same time a relevant impact on their families and the general public in terms of news coverage, social-media interest, stakeholders’ involvement. The action shall engage academia and educators involved in different education levels, targeting different demographics including young children and teenagers.

The key advancements of the European space programmes should be given a privileged position, but the main objective should remain attracting the interest of students for space, space-related subjects and steer them towards education paths in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Proposals should take into account similar activities of ESA and national education programmes. They could focus in the context of the classroom or outside the normal classroom environment, making use of space educational centres or online resources, including contests and public exhibitions (for instance in science museums). Particular attention should be paid to stimulating interest amongst female students and reaching children in underprivileged communities.

Activities shall also aim at identifying links with the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the European Innovation Institute of Technology (EIT) and possible scope for dedicated activities for space.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This topic contributes to the Horizon 2020 focus area "Digitising and transforming European industry and services".

Expected Impact

  • Promote the network European space education and outreach actors and reach out to a significant number of students, their families and the general public.
  • Achieve a significant coverage by media and attention by stakeholders and help increase the political support for European space programmes and initiatives within the EU and national Parliaments.
  • Increase the number of students that opt for a technical career related to space when compared to the general population of students in their cohorts;
  • Promote research in collaboration with universities.
  • Reinforce links between space and the EIT KICs and explore options for a dedicated space KIC.

Cross-cutting Priorities

Socio-economic science and humanities

Date de candidature
Sciences sociales : Sciences de l'éducation