The 23 projects selected for the GSA’s first call for funding under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) demonstrate a wide range of innovative proposals for developing satellite navigation applications and services in the European marketplace.
The GSA’s analysis of the process used in the first call – along with the lessons learned – have fed into the second call, which is now underway. The recommendations, including one calling for applicants to provide better business plans, will also help those considering proposals for future calls.
The EU’s Framework Programmes foster research and development in strategic sectors via grants to collaborative projects. The funds are used to finance research, technological development and demonstration projects. Grants are determined through successive calls for proposals and peer review. The current round of funding, FP7, runs from 2007 to 2013 with grant levels set at 50%, 75% or 100% of a project’s total budget.
The GSA is responsible for overseeing most FP7 funding into research related to EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) and Galileo, the EU’s global navigation satellite system programmes.
The GSA’s allocation aims at ensuring that EGNOS and Galileo become the premier satellite navigation systems in Europe for civil use, and serve to generate public and social benefits. Projects must also stimulate market-oriented applications and services in Europe, or internationally.
Developing GNSS for Europe’s benefit
Under FP6, €110 million was granted to 77 R&D projects. About 300 companies participated in the projects as part of consortia. The results of FP6 are driving the themed approach to calls set by the GSA under FP7, while opening up new topics to be investigated.
The GSA had €16 million to allocate in the first call for project proposals under FP7. The GSA launched the first call in November 2007 and the successful projects were selected in September 2008.
Boris Kennes, the GSA’s Galileo Applications Officer, says the first call under FP7 targeted small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), location-based services, and the road and aviation sectors, in particular:
- GNSS-based road applications with a focus on road-user charges and value-added services.
- GNSS-based mobile location-based services applications with a focus on social applications.
- Accelerating the adoption of EGNOS by the aviation sector, with a focus on general aviation and airport ground operations.
- Mass-market GNSS applications with a specific focus
“We are focussing on closing remaining R&D gaps,” Kennes says. “We believe that the GNSS market is developing very fast and can benefit citizens, businesses and governments alike. “
Wide range of proposals made
Based on these themes 63 proposals from 296 different companies and institutions were received for consideration. In total, applicants requested €49 million in grants, about three times the budget for the first call. A breakdown of the proposals indicates that geographical reach was achieved. Entities from 41 different countries participated in the proposals.
The call also attracted a high number of newcomers, participants in proposals who had not previously made requests for grants under the Framework Programmes. An estimated 50% of participants had not participated in FP programmes before. However, most of the proposed project coordinators did have some FP experience.
The proposals were evaluated by independent expert panels, which rated them based on the call’s requirements and three evaluation criteria:
- Scientific and or technological excellence.
- Quality and efficiency of the implementation and management.
- The potential impact through the development, dissemination and use of project results.
The mix of 23 projects selected for funding demonstrated a wide range of proposed innovations and participation (see the synopsis of the projects below).
Entities from 21 countries are part of winning consortia. Over 40% of the funds were granted to SMEs and they make up over 50% of the project coordinators. Consortia with a coordinator with FP experience outside of GNSS calls generally did well. This analysis indicates that the GNSS funding process is open to newcomers, says Kennes.
“SMEs were equally successful as non-SMEs in the evaluations,” Kennes says.
Presenting a clear business plan
A major factor for a successful application was the presentation of a clear plan for commercialising the research results. Business plans are mandatory for the GSA’s GNSS calls. The successful plans outlined an innovative concept with public and end-user benefits, and were made by consortia with good market access and a track record of innovation in the market.
“These differentiators should clearly be highlighted in the proposal,” Kennes says. “Proposals should be clear, concise and concrete. Start early enough, consortium building and proposal writing takes time.”
The lessons learned from the first call are being put to good use in the second call for proposals. The GSA’s second call under FP7 closed on 31 March, with applicants submitting 104 proposals. The proposals are being evaluated for funding consideration by 35 independent experts from 15 different countries. About €29 million is available for grants.
“FP7 will encourage the development of GNSS downstream applications,” says Kennes. “This will drive demand and pave the way for rapid Galileo adoption. In the short term, applications should take advantage of EGNOS, which is already available.”
The GNSS market has been growing at double-digit rates for the past decade, and this trend is expected to accelerate as new satellite systems with superior performance become operational and as the number of civilian applications continues to increase.
Industrial revenues for the worldwide GNSS market are forecast to reach €60 billion by 2011. By 2020, some three billion satellite navigation receivers are forecast to be in service.
The following is a brief outline of each of the 23 projects receiving FP7 funding through the GSA’s first call.
GSC (GNSS-enabled Services Convergence)
Develop a standardised platform for GNSS-based road tolling services. Define the specifications and tools for certification at the technical level and at the procedural levels for interoperability and convergence of such services.
GINA (GNSS for INnovative road Applications)
Develop a large-scale demonstrator of road user charging technical and commercial feasibility using EGNOS.
MUGGES (Mobile User Generated GEO Services)
Develop components such as GNSS-based intelligent tagging for enabling peer-to-peer community applications such as social mapping and mobile location games.
OPTI-TRANS (Optimised Transport System for Mobile Location Based Services)
Develop a mobile GNSS platform to provide commuters and travellers a trip planning service for public/private transportation via information from public transport authorities and private vehicle owners.
GIANT-2 (EGNOS Adoption in the Aviation Sector)
Introduce EGNOS via demonstrations to corporate and general aviation, school and training aviation and helicopter search-and-rescue segments. Builds on GIANT (FP6) project.
HEDGE (Helicopters Deploy GNSS in Europe)
Deveop and demonstrate new helicopter approach procedures as well as other EGNOS applications for general aviation. Builds on GIANT (FP6) project.
IEGLO (Infrastructure-based EGNOS/Galileo receiver for personal mobility)
Develop a handheld tracking device for the elderly and those affected by Alzheimer’s. The smartphone will incorporate inertial sensors to detect whether a patient has collapsed. The patient’s location will be secure transmitted to a central server.
MOW-BY-SAT (MOWing the lawn BY SATelite)
Demonstrate the use of a local GNSS augmentation using a combination of a specific phase processing and EGNOS/EDAS data. Enable the use of GNSS for robotic tasks (autonomous mobile platforms and missions) such as lawn mowing.
GALAPAGOS (GALileo-bAsed seamless and robust Positioning Applications for loGistics Optimation processes)
Develop a EGNOS/EDAS positioning system that can be used within the scope of logistics applications, such as for container tracking.
SIGNATURE Simple GNSS Assisted and Trusted Receiver
Prototype a GNSS-based solution for flexible road user charging that provides a trustworthy solution in a cost-effective and scalable manner.
ImaGeo (ImaGeo: Accurate geotemporal coding in photos)
Geo-temporal visual media tagging for personalised and context-aware GNSS applications and services. Users will be able to acquire geo-tagged photos through their mobile GNSS/EGNOS enabled devices and put them on a Web 2.0 travel content platform.
GSW (Galileo Speed Warning)
Develop intelligent speed adaptation (ISA) technologies to inform vehicle drivers of their behaviour in keeping to local speed limits. The project will test whether ISA has a role to play in introducing sustained behaviour change for drivers who consider themselves to be ‘careful and compliant’, bit who (often unconsciously) exceed local speed limits.
TIGER (Trusted GNSS Receiver)
Develop access control token using GNSS-based security technology for applications requiring trusted time- and geo- stamps.
GalileoCast (Innovative Forecast and Broadcast Applications with Galileo
Develop new applications for weather-related mass market services, in particular for mobile and broadcast customers.
MetaPos (MetaPos: a meta-service integrating diverse position determining technologies for LBS)
Develop an intelligent brokerage for location-based services, allowing the automated selection of the appropriate position determining technologies (PDTs) and leverage them for the application at hand.
GRAMMAR (Galileo Ready Advanced Mass MArket Receiver)
Address the gaps identified as obstacles for producing high-quality mass-market GNSS receivers.
GAMMA-(A Galileo Receiver for Mass Market Applications in the Automotive Area)
Develop a two-frequency GALILEO/EGNOS/GPS satellite navigation receiver for automotive applications such as driver assistance systems.
HIMALAYA High performance Mass market GNSS receiver multi standard ready for market
Design and develop a “ready-to-market” single chip receiver for GPS, EGNOS and GALILEO signals. The final product will be ready for the implementation in all battery-powered GNSS devices, particularly mobile phones.
GAGARIN (GAlileo-Glonass Advanced Receiver Integration)
Develop a GALILEO/GLONASS receiver for aeronautical applications in the Russian Federation.
SEAGAL South East Asia centre on European GNSS for international cooperation And Local development
Define an implementation plan for a European GNSS Collaboration Centre in support of educational, commercial and technical needs in South-East Asia.
SARBACAN (SAR BeAcon development with Canada)
Develop a Galileo MEOSAR beacon prototype development for maritime, aviation and personal search-and-rescue operations. The prototypes consist of GNSS receivers embedded in maritime and aviation beacons.
GACELA GALILEO Centre of Excellence for Latin America
Support Latin America’s market for Galileo-based applications and technologies by creating the first Galileo centre of expertise in Argentina.
PEGASE Provision of Expertise to GSA And Support to Enabling activities
Support the management of Galileo FP7 first call projects, provide advice to the GSA, establish advisory expert groups on request, support SMEs as they exploit results, aid in technology transfer, coordinate with national/regional/local initiatives, disseminate information and knowledge, and monitor the European GNSS market.