“BIOWYSE - Biocontamination Integrated cOntrol of Wet sYstems for Space Exploration”, is supported by European Community’s H2020 Framework Programme under Grant Agreement n° 687447.

Project Summary

The BIOWYSE project is investigating ways to maintain the quality of drinking water for astronauts - to ensure it is safe to drink and to monitor the level of bacterial contamination in various humid areas inside a spacecraft. 

More specifically, the BIOWYSE team aims to develop and demonstrate a compact, integrated solution (hardware & software) for the International Space Station (ISS).  This will provide an operational method for preventing, monitoring and mitigating the microbial contamination risk in water systems and humid surfaces on-board ISS and in future human space exploration missions.


The BIOWYSE consortium aims to 

  1. Design and manufacture a breadboard system - an experimental prototype for new electronic systems to be tested in the laboratory and field, to validate the concept. 
  2. Design a FLIGHT DEMO experiment that can be used on board the ISS, containing major elements of the breadboard, with additional parts that are needed to be tested and validated in a microgravity environment.
  3. Outline the concept of the extended BIOWYSE system to be used in future manned spaceflight missions, based on the Flight Demo design.

Additionally, the BIOWYSE consortium will further investigate the possibilities for spin off developments in the terrestrial water management industries. The analysis will focus on situations that may benefit from a low power, integrated water management system (remote laboratories, ships, etc). This task will link the space endeavour with terrestrial developments, clearly identifying opportunities for terrestrial use.

Project Consortium and Stakeholders


The BIOWYSE consortium brings together space and non-space agents with an interest in water management:

  • European Science Foundation (Co-ordinator)
  • Aquasence Technologies, United Kingdom
  • Architecture Etcetera, Czech Republic.
  • GL-Biocontrol, France
  • The Institute of Water Research of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-IRSA)
  • Liewenthal Electronics, Estonia
  • Thales Alenia Space Italia, Italy
  • Torino Water Authority (SMAT), Italy
  • The University of Firenze, Italy


The European Commission has selected the BIOWYSE project as a possible candidate for an ISS flight demonstrator. The consortium partners are also in contact with the European Space Agency, in order to define a framework of co-operation in order to help the BIOWYSE experiment meet the necessary rigorous requirements for space flight to the international space station.

Dr Bekki Bruce (NASA Johnson Microbiology Laboratory, retired) is advising the BIOWYSE project team on issues of environmental control equipment onboard the ISS.

Role of ESF

ESF is the co-ordinator of the BIOWYSE project and in charge of project communication, stakeholder management and overall project management. 

Timeline & Funding

The BIOWYSE project was initiated by TAS-I and ESF, as a response to the EC H2020 call on space habitat management. The project started in 2016, with a 3 year planned duration and a budget of €3M.

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