Tendering to ESO - STFC

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) builds and operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes. ESO has an annual budget of 135 million Euros and is constructing the billion Euro ELT (Extremely Large Telescope) project.

ESO has its headquarters in Garching, Germany, and operates three major sites in Chile. Major facilities include the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA).

Key facts

ESO regularly procure elements in fields, including:

  • optics (visible through to mm-wave)
  • detectors (visible through to mm-wave)
  • civil engineering
  • mechanical engineering and machining
  • cryogenics and vacuum
  • electronics
  • software and information technology.

ESO procures through competitive tenders, awarding contracts on a best value for money basis. Single source tenders are extremely rare, except for small value procurements.

Check the ESO procurement page for:

  • advance information on forthcoming calls for tenders exceeding €150,000 downloadable version of current advance calls is available)
  • calls for tenders (downloadable version of current calls for tenders is available)
  • conditions governing invitations to tender and tenders
  • conditions of ESO contracts
  • conditions of purchase orders.

Notifications of imminent calls are circulated by the UK’s industrial liaison officer for ESO. To receive these tender notifications, register with the STFC Tender Opportunities Service. Small value procurements are processed internally by ESO using their in-house supplier database. To ensure that your details are maintained on this database, please contact the UK ILO.

See ESO forthcoming calls for tender.

Read our ESO explainer.


UK companies interested in doing business with ESO should contact the UK industrial liaison officer:

Eileen Forsey, UK Industrial Liaison Officer for ESO

Email: tenderopportunities@stfc.ukri.org

Last updated: 7 December 2023

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