The Galileo 2.0 debate at the European Parliament in Brussels on October 15 outlined the huge opportunity that the Galileo initiative can bring to European industry. Described as a veritable “gold mine” by one speaker, European companies are getting ready to deliver the innovative products and services that Galileo and EGNOS can enable. And the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is ready to help: from funding application research to support in the marketplace.
The GSA event was hosted by Vittorio Prodi, MEP and chair of the Sky and Space Intergroup of the European Parliament. He insisted that Galileo would give a real boost for jobs and efficiency in the EU.
This theme was reiterated by Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, who brought clear messages for the Galileo programme and GSA. “Galileo is here and is moving forward,” he stated. “And it will provide services before the end of 2014.”
Mr Tajani declared that it was essential for European citizens and industry to benefit from Galileo as soon as possible. His visits around the world showed that there was global interest in the initiative and in the existing EGNOS service: he was very optimistic for future success of both.
Service for all
Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the GSA, highlighted two main areas for GSA work over the next few years: system security and market development.
From a market development perspective Galileo featured in EU research programmes such as FP7 and the forthcoming Horizon 2020 to feed innovative ideas for applications. In addition the GSA had just published the third edition of its GNSS Market Report. This worldwide analysis showed the massive opportunity awaiting Galileo and EU industry.
To maximise the opportunity GSA needed to emphasize the competitive advantage of Galileo over other GNSS, for example the civil nature of the system, and foster dialogue with different industrial sectors to focus on value creation. “We need to build new competences on the basis of what has been successfully achieved with EGNOS,” he said.
Opportunity for all
“This can create hundreds of thousands of jobs – we are sitting on a gold mine and we are ready to start digging!” declared Gard Ueland, Chairman of Galileo Services, an organisation representing members of the EU satellite navigation downstream market.
He saw the idea of Galileo 2.0 as moving from a main focus on securing the system infrastructure to a next phase involving “harvesting the infrastructure investment” by putting it to use and providing attractive services that the market wanted.
“Market growth of over 10% per year is anticipated,” he said. “EU companies must be looking to develop new applications that can do more than GPS devices, compete to be first in the EU market and increase market share in the global market that is estimated to be worth € 250 billion by 2022.”
As an example of an industry sector that has embraced satellite services Hermann Garbers, representing the European Agricultural Manufacturers Association (CEMA), described how satellite navigation tools have already enabled precision agriculture and can achieve much more in the future. Geographic information systems and positioning are key to enabling higher yields and greater efficiency along the agricultural value chain.
Commitment and confidence
Concluding the session Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director General of DG Enterprise and Industry, summed up the discussion with four words: commitment (from all actors involved to ensure Galileo will succeed and turn the dream into reality), opportunity (for EU industry to exploit the services that Galileo will bring), partnership (all actors have worked in a real partnership to overcome unprecedented challenges), and confidence (that Galileo will move forward and stimulate growth and the creation of high quality jobs for European citizens).
The workshop was followed by a networking cocktail to inaugurate a short exhibition in the European Parliament on the work and achievements of the GSA.
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