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Electric Propulsion Innovation and Competitiveness

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EPIC (Electric Propulsion Innovation and Competitiveness)

Reporting period: 2014-10-01 to 2015-09-30

The Electric Propulsion Innovation and Competitiveness (EPIC) project is the Programme Support Activity (PSA) of the Horizon 2020 Space Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) on In-Space Electrical Propulsion and Station Keeping. EPIC mainly aims at producing a clear integrated roadmap and master plan for its implementation through the SRC Operational Grants.
The roadmap and its complementing documents, when implemented through the SRC Operational Grants will support the achievement of the overall SRC goal of enabling major advances in Electric Propulsion (EP) for in-space operations and transportation, in order to contribute to guarantee the leadership through competitiveness and non-dependence of European capabilities in electric propulsion at world level within the 2020-2030 timeframe, always in coherence with the existing and planned developments at national, commercial and ESA level.
The EPIC PSA also intends to provide advice to the Commission for the SRC calls documentation for Operational Grants, contribute to the assessment of the progress and results of the Operational Grants and support the Commission and REA on the general SRC implementation.
EPIC is coordinated by ESA, complemented by renowned National Agencies: ASI, BELSPO, CDTI, CNES, DLR and UKSA, and by the major European space industrial associations, Eurospace & SME4Space. This teaming of beneficiaries brings together the multidisciplinary mix of expertise required to deliver an unbiased, rational strategic roadmap and masterplan for EP developments in H2020.
The EPIC work structure is articulated with some continuous activities (e.g. project management, dissemination) and in two cycles of recurring activities, each cycle synchronized with a specific H2020 Space Work Programme preparation. The reference period has seen the start of the continual activities and the start and completion of the first cycle ahead of the 2016 H2020 Space Call topic for Operational Grants.

The objectives of the continuous activities were to:

• Initiate the project and establish the management, financial and communication structures (Task 1.1).
• Coordinate within the EPIC consortium, with the EPIC Advisory board and the THAG (Tasks 1.2 and 1.4).
• Coordinate with EC/REA (Task 1.4 and across WP4).
• Initiate dissemination activities (Task 5.1).

The specific objectives of the 1st cycle in support of the 2016 call were the following:

• Analyse the state of the art and the needs on the basis of the European Harmonisation process on Electric Propulsion Technologies and consultation with stakeholders (Task 2.1).
• Collect the requirements from commercial and institutional actors, European primes and Agencies for current and future missions using EP, again including consultation with stakeholders (Task 2.2).
• Produce a gap analysis derived from the analysis of the two previous points, per application domain (Task 2.3).
• Prioritise the EP technologies per application domain, both for Incremental advances and Disruptive RTD (Tasks 3.1 and 3.2).
• Arrive, by means of the prioritisation and consultation with stakeholders to an SRC roadmap for both lines of developments in H2020 Space (Tasks 3.3 and 3.4)
• Produce a clear Master Plan for the roadmap implementation (Task 3.4).
• Prepare and provide the Commission with a draft call text for the 2016 SRC call topic and related call documentation. (Task 4.1)
• Support the Commission and REA with the 2016 call material, including its presentation to multiple stakeholders (e.g. H2020 Space Programme Committee, H2020 Space Info Days) (Tasks 4.1 4.5 and 5.1).
It is expected that the SRC roadmap and various documentation produced by EPIC to be used by the Commission when preparing the SRC call topics for Operational Grants through different H2020 Space Work Programmes will generate sufficient interest from the industrial and research community on Electric Propulsion and related technologies to produce high quality proposals responding to the challenges presented. When funded and progressed, those Operational Grants projects shall materialise the EPIC effort to achieve the SRC objectives and EPIC impact, mainly:
• European added value,
• Advances in space electric propulsion technologies for space operations and transportation,
• Higher competitiveness of the European Industry,
• Better exploitation of space systems.
High level SRC Roadmap
EPIC partners logos
EPIC process for arriving at the SRC Roadmap (part of work performed during the reporting period)
From the SRC Roadmap to the 2016 SRC call documents (part of work performed)
EPIC Work Breakdown Structure