Next-generation satellite systems will be essential to bridge the digital divide and offer high-speed connectivity for all by 2025. Optical feeder links are the most advanced communication solution to the future VHTS system requirements. VERTIGO's ambition is to establish the required breakthrough by developing the on-board and ground concepts and technologies enabling a drastic increase of the link throughput towards and beyond 1 Tbps. VERTIGO is set to meet three major objectives: 1) Throughput increase: while current space optical comms use 1bit/symb modulation formats, VERTIGO will implement advanced schemes with higher spectral and power efficiency, including RF-over-Fiber approach. 2) High optical power generation: to close the demanding link budgets, VERTIGO will develop on-board and ground means to raise the transmitted optical power, not only based on amplifier power increase, but also on incoherent/coherent power combining. 3) Mitigation of atmospheric propagation impairments, to make full use of throughput and power increases. Optomechanical techniques using adaptive optics and aperture diversity, and digital processing (error correction coding/ interleaving) will be developed to enhance the robustness of future optical feeder links. This unprecedented combination of concepts will result in leading-edge system solutions. Representative demonstrations will prove the expected end-to-end performance. VERTIGO ambitions to pave the way towards very high throughput satellite systems and contribute to maintain EU technological leading edge and industry competitiveness. The VERTIGO consortium is composed of the different parties of the supply chain, from technology providers to satellite equipment and system vendors, and satellite operator as an advisor. VERTIGO gathers well-established industrial companies, R&D centers and SMEs, allowing for efficient technology transfer, quick take-up of last research results, and dissemination throughout the space community and beyond.