Education, Research and Innovation in GNSS
Background & Objectives
European investment in the Galileo system will present significant economic opportunities as new navigation applications come on stream. Innovations are already underway for controlling and planning transport. The mass mobile phone market alone promises huge potential for new location-based services. But where will the engineers and commercial managers come from to support this economic growth? Is there sufficient, targeted research underway? And what support is there for innovation, especially for small companies? Previous European workshops have highlighted the need for a detailed assessment of what should be done to keep Europe competitive in GNSS through a more effective transfer of knowledge, technology and innovation. The ERIG study is a response to that requirement.
European players looking to build new business on the back of Galileo need qualified staff, education, training, access to research and support to get products into the marketplace. ERIG will stimulate the knowledge exchange process for stakeholders by assessing what is already in place and making recommendations for further actions to ensure competitiveness.
The project has undertaken a number of iterations of data collection and analysis via its network of partners across Europe. Data has been sought in the following areas:
- University courses
- Training and education for professionals
- Research programmes/projects
- PhD theses
- Research facilities
- Private sector research investment
- Innovation programmes/tools
- Innovative products/services
Analysis of these data is still underway, aiming to answer a number of questions:
- For education: Where and how is education and training in GNSS being offered? Is it producing sufficient numbers of suitably qualified people? What else is needed to improve the provision of education in the future and to provide the skills/knowledge that industry is looking for?
- For research: What type of research is currently underway and where are the areas of strength/weakness in Europe? What is the contribution of the private sector in GNSS research and what are the differences between SME and large companies’ activities? Where should future R&D in Europe be focused to support economic growth and who should drive the priorities?
- For innovation: What innovative products and services are currently produced in Europe and how are standards/mandated applications influencing the market? Where can Europe expect to lead innovation and what research is required to support this? What are the expectations of return on investment? What support mechanisms are in place now to help the innovation process and what is needed in the future?
Three reports summarising key findings and recommendations from the first European phase of analysis will be presented for critical review in October/November 2007. Planning for phase 2 of the analysis (international and technological comparisons) is expected to be finalised in December 2007 depending on the results of the critical design review.
- to assess the actions to be taken to develop education, research and innovation/technology transfer (ERI) in the field of GNSS in Europe;
- to better understand the specific dynamics between ERI and economic growth in the field of GNSS.
In order to achieve this, the project will:
- establish the current situation within education, research and innovation in GNSS (including priority applications in navigation);
- analyse the interactions between education, research and innovation in GNSS, and how they might be developed to deliver social and economic benefits;
- compare the situation with other technologies that have been through similar growth cycles;
- compare the situation with geographical areas outside of Europe;
- use the above information to derive recommendations to promote greater awareness and European competitiveness through education, research and innovation/technology transfer.
Work performed & results
Initial recommendations for fostering education, research and innovation will be available in November 2007. These will provide useful input to EU and national policy-makers and practitioners looking to enhance the competitiveness of European GNSS. In addition to the three reports, a repository of data collected for ERIG will also be made available to the GSA. This will represent a substantial Europe-wide information resource which may be made available for further expansion/updating where data is not commercially sensitive. An industry needs analysis has been undertaken and will be delivered to the GSA in September 2007. This will provide data on the current and future needs of industry with respect to ERIG priorities. An education kit will be delivered at the end of the project as a self-contained CD-ROM/web resource. It is aimed at developers who need a reasonable level of technical detail about GNSS in order to understand how it can be integrated in different applications. This first version will provide a technical module and an application-oriented course with exercises and feedback mechanisms. The kit is designed to be further expanded and customised outside of the ERIG project.