Doing Business with ESA

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ESA informs about its requests for proposals through its Electronic Mailing Invitation to Tender System (EMITS). The ESA Open Invitation to Tender (ITT) gives a list of studies to be developed for the European Space Agency. If you are a collaborator of ETH, please contact Tobias Bandi ( or ) to get a personal account in EMITS.

PSS Forms

This is the Official PSS forms for cost proposal submissions. The Swiss Space Center also has experience in ECOS (ESA Costing Software). The Swiss Space Center provides support to the Swiss Space Community, to fill in PSS forms. Please contact Tobias Bandi () or Grégoire Bourban ().

Preparing a proposal

If you intend to prepare a proposal or are looking for a partner (academic, industrial or RTO) do not hesitate to contact us ( or ).We are happy to support you getting to grips with the administrative parts of the proposal (document templates, PSS forms etc.)

Specific services that the Center provides to members of ETH Zürich related to proposal preparation include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Introduction to the space industry for newcomers and discuss the potential for the specific institute or technology
  • Access to EMITS, ESA’s electronic platform for Invitations To Tender (ITT), where you can find open and upcoming tenders for projects and the related documentation
  • Access to ESA-P, the electronic invoicing system of ESA
  • Support with the proposal preparation work and with the official PSS forms for the financial part of a proposal


ETH Transfer

The Swiss Space Center works closely together with ETH transfer the technology transfer office of ETH Zurich. ETH transfer supports the ETH community in a broad range of intellectual property matters including the contractual negotiations with ESA that follow any submitted proposal/tender accepted by ESA.

The ESA General Conditions of Tender for ESA Contracts (“GTC”) require you to comment on the provisions of the ESA Contractual Proposal including its General Clauses and Conditions of ESA Contracts (“GCC”). Both the GTC and the GCC can be downloaded at the ESA webpage at this link.

At the time of the submission of the tender documentation to ESA the tenderer and its subcontractors (if any) must amongst other aspects also indicate:

  • any reservations and restrictions with regard to intellectual property rights(“ IPR”)  incl. the rights of third parties such as subcontractors and others
  • any modifications and amendments to the GTC  and the ESA contract proposal

According to the ESA regulations, any reservations made after the submission period must not be accepted by ESA and may lead to an unacceptable tender. Therefore, please involve ETH transfer at an early stage in order to discuss the legal aspects of the tender documentation such as:

  • the contractual set up with project participants such as partners, subcontractors
  • IPR aspects such as Background IPR (e.g. patents, software, confidential know-how etc.) generated previously, after or outside the project  and used within the project, potential restrictions in use or licensing of IPR, evaluation of third party IPR used within the project and potential effects on IPR licensing etc.
  • Liability and indemnification
  • Law and Jurisdiction etc.

We will be happy to support you in all IPR-related and other contractual questions that are within our competency.

Please note that supplies and services of subcontractors rendered to ETH Zurich may be subject to VAT. For any advice with regard to VAT please revert to the department of finance and its respective experts. Furhter information can be found here

How to Invoice ESA - ESA-P

The European Space Agency (ESA) has its own invoicing system for its suppliers called esa-p. You can access esa-p through this link. In order to log onto the system, you need a user account.

To log onto esa-p, through Internet Explorer, make sure that you accept all internet certificates. otherwise your will be blocked.

ESA-P Advance Payment Request

The Advance Payment Request can be done under ESA-P after the signature of the contract, according to contract payment plan. The amount is then automatically off-set on subsequent invoices. This should also be mentioned in the terms of the contract.

ESA-P External Confirmation

BEFORE YOU DO AN INVOICE IN ESA-P, YOU MUST FIRST FILL IN AN EXTERNAL CONFIRMATION (formally calles MAC or milestone acheivement confirmation).

Once you are on the welcome page of ESA-P, click on "Order Collaboration" (in the grey bar), then on "External Confirmation" on the left hand menu, and then on the "start" button.

  • Type in your contract number usually starting with 4000 or 42000 and press on SEARCH and then START.
  • Double click on the number corresponding to the milestone you want to invoice.
  • The details appear.
  • Fill in quantity of the milestone.
  • You must attach documents that are proof of the acceptance of the milestone, for instance an approval email of the Technical Officer.
  • If this is doctoral thesis, add the name of the PhD.
  • Under "Reference Document" you should put the your internal number of the future invoice you will be making.
  • "Check" the confirmation
  • "Confirm" the confirmation
  • You may then print the confirmation and save it as a PDF.

ESA-P Invoicing

Once you are on the welcome page, click on "Order Collaboration" (in the grey box), then on "invoice" on the left hand menu, and then on the start button.

The "Create invoice" box will open. proceed as follows:

  • Enter the purchase order number, usually starting with 42000 or 4000. If you click on "Add", the system should upload your contract/pruchase order.
  • Enter the Invoicing Party number for ETH.
  • Supplier is the prime contractor (not always ETHZ).
  • External Invoice Number: You can use your ETH account number followed by an ETH invoice number.
  • Title: usually the name of the purchase order title. 
  • Invoice Name: the name of the invoice according to milestone.
  • Invoicing Date: date of the invoice.
  • Part Bank: You must choose ETH bank account.
  • Pick the line you need to invoice.
  • type in the amount expressed in EA, that needs to be invoiced.  
  • Tax should be " tax exemption 0,0%". Make sure your contract is with tax exemption.
  • Click on "Calculate Total Value".
  • Under the upper tab "Notes and Attachments",  add "Exonération TVA selon l'art. 144 OTVA" (new VAT rule since 2011). You may also add specifications for ETH finance department.
  • Add any PDF necessary.
  • The refresh button may be used at any moment to update the content of your invoice.
  • Once you have finished entering all the information requested you may check  and save your invoice and then Post it.



  • Select your invoice in the main list (it has to be orange)
  • Click on Display (top tab). Your invoice opens up.
  • Click on Invoice list  (top tab)
  • Click on button Print supplier invoice form. Make sure internet explorer does not block the opening of the PDF file
  • The invoice opens up as a PDF that  you may save and print.
  • Printing your MAC is easy since the Print Preview buttton is active.

"Posted in the backend" : it is the last status of a document, meaning that entire approval cycle has approved the document

Do you need Help?


IDHelp is the ESA point of contact for ESA-P and EMITS.
IDHelp is reachable via telephone or email.
Tel : +39 06 94180700+39 06 94180700
Fax: +39 0623190528

For unpaid invoices you may also contact:

If you need help within Switzerland:

For EMITS and PSS: Grégoire Bourban ()

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