With Asia emerging as an important market for GNSS, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) actively promoted Galileo in the region and helped foster opportunities for European companies looking to do business in Asia.
At a handful of events happening in Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam, the Agency joined business and policy leaders from both continents to promote trans-regional cooperation towards the adoption of European GNSS in Asia.
According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, Asia is the ‘hot spot’ for GNSS. In fact, it is currently the primary region of global market growth in terms of in-use GNSS devices. The region is forecasted to grow 11% per year, from 1.7 billion in 2014 to 4.1 billion devices in 2023 – more than the EU and North America combined. More so, the GSA notes the region is becoming increasingly active in chipset manufacturing, along with building their own constellations.
In other words, Asia is an important market for GNSS, and the GSA is dedicated to ensuring European businesses are in a position to benefit from it.
Promoting Brand Europe
As part of this effort, the GSA is actively engaged with two projects geared towards supporting European interests within the Asian GNSS market. GNSS.asia is dedicated to developing and implementing GNSS industrial cooperation between European and Asia-Pacific GNSS industries, with a focus on the downstream sector.
“Industrial collaboration within the international context of the GNSS downstream sector is becoming increasingly important,” says project coordinator Rainer Horn. “This is particularly important now as Galileo moves towards operational readiness.”
GNSS.asia is offering country-specific market analysis (available on their online platform), networking, and speaking opportunities at Asian events and overall support to companies interested in doing business in or with Asia. The services are free of charge to European companies and are funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework program for research and development. The project is also set to hold a special session on EU-Asia collaboration at the upcoming European Space Solutions Conference.
Similarly, the BELS Project, also funded under Horizon 2020, is committed to bringing European GNSS companies to South-East Asia. The main objective of BELS is to facilitate the breakthrough of E-GNSS technology by conducting a set of coordinated activities for raising awareness and capacity building. The BELS consortium is gathering the top GNSS universities and research institutes together to offer PhD partnering programmes, training opportunities and placement of students at EU and Asian companies.
For companies seeking to collaborate on GNSS R&D, BELS operates NAVIS, a dedicated GNSS R&D centre located in Hanoi, Vietnam. The facility is available for both testing and research activities, and as a hub for establishing new links with regional GNSS stakeholders. A motivated young team of researchers, having regular exchanges with European universities, complete the picture. Several EU receiver manufacturers have used the opportunity to co-locate their receivers at NAVIS, as the location is particularly suitable to test the multi-constellation function.
Tour de Asia
In support of these projects and the overall mission of promoting European GNSS interests in Asia, the GSA recently participated in some key events across the region.
In Taiwan, the GSA participated in the 2015 GNSS.asia Seminar. Entitled “Smart X: When GNSS Meets the Internet of Things”, the event welcomed 70 key players from both the industrial and institutional sides of GNSS. Of particular interest to the GSA’s work was a seminar on the current opportunities for downstream cooperation across various market domains and a networking event that brought together key stakeholders from Taiwan and Europe.
The GSA also participated in the Telematics Taiwan 2015 International Summit, an event focused on the fast growing area of smart connected telematics services and 4G. As an event sponsor, the GSA, along with GNSS.asia, hosted a special session on Galileo and its benefits to the Asian market. The session was one of the best attended, with around 200 attendees.
In Vietnam, the GSA met with the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) Department of Science and Technology, who is responsible for the use of GNSS in Vietnam. The Agency shared the latest edition of the GNSS Market Report and learned about MIC’s recently completed report on GNSS use in Vietnam. Discussions focused on how the GSA can further support and advise MIC on standardising GNSS systems and services in Vietnam, and the role and benefits of Galileo for the many emerging GNSS applications in Vietnam (such as a telematics box placed in public transport vehicles to increase road safety and provide new services to users).
“We believe that European technologies can further support the Vietnamese authorities as they continue to increase their use of GNSS and, in particular, such European GNSS programmes as Galileo,” says GSA Deputy Head of Market Development Fiammetta Diani.
In Seoul, Korea, the GSA promoted the eCall system, briefing Korean auto manufacturers on European regulations that require the installation of Galileo in all cars to be sold within the European Union. “E-Call is becoming an important topic for vehicle manufacturers and mobile network providers in Korea as the Korean government is considering the adoption of an initiative similar to what we have in Europe,” says Diani.
Representatives from Hyundai, SsangYong, GM Korea, BMW, Mercedes, Renault, Samsung, ST Microelectronics, LG Electronics, Korea Telecom and LG Telecom, along with government officials, participated in the briefing.
The Agency also participated in the Multi-GNSS Asia (MGA) Conference. MGA is an international organisation, endorsed by the UN’s International Committee on GNSS (ICG), with the goal of promoting the development of multi-GNSS applications in the Asia-Pacific region. MGA leads the Asia-Oceania Multi-GNSS Demonstration Campaign, which looks to create a forum for GNSS stakeholders and facilitate the sharing of innovative technologies for multi-GNSS utilisation.
“MGA is of particular interest to the GSA and projects like GNSS.asia and BELS as it focuses on multi-constellation services,” notes GSA Market Development Officer Justyna Redelkiewicz. “The event was an excellent opportunity for us to update the MGA community on the status of Galileo and its potential to deliver enhanced performance in Asia.”
The GSA’s mission to Asia was a resounding success, with many important contacts made and numerous follow up actions already in motion. “The mission was very successful, giving the GSA a unique opportunity to promote Galileo to the Asian automotive and telematics industries – both of which demonstrated a deep interest in adopting the system,” says Diani. “Having the chance to network with national and scientific authorities will create further opportunities for European GNSS industry in Asia in the near future.”
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