GSA and EIB reinvigorate agreement on European space-based investment

29 April 2021
GSA and EIB are cooperating to encourage investment in the space-based service economy.
GSA and EIB are cooperating to encourage investment in the space-based service economy.

At a recent interactive workshop, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) gave a new impetus to the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the two organisations to set common operational principles for scaling up investments in downstream commercial applications related to Global Navigation Satellite Services (GNSS). Under their MoU, signed in 2019, the GSA and EIB are exploring the investment potential for the so-called New Space Economy, with a view to supporting a higher private sector involvement in  GNSS innovation-based pilots and projects, thereby contributing to high-skilled jobs and European value-added, while implementing the EU Space Programme.

Expanded EUSPA Mandate

GSA will soon be transformed into EUSPA, the European Union Agency for the Space Programme, with an expanded mandate and a number of key objectives. In addition to building the GovSatCom user base, the Agency will also focus on promoting Galileo and Copernicus as market leaders, increasing the competitiveness of European downstream space companies and broadening the involvement of private enterprises from all EU Member States in the EU space-based economy.

At the experts’ workshop with the EIB, which took place on 12 March 2021, the GSA presented case studies in the downstream market segments. A key sector for investment is transport, where GNSS technology and market trends are opening up new opportunities, from emissions monitoring and intelligent routes in aviation, the digitalisation of the rail sector, to automation of operations and optimised traffic management at ports and airports, new urban mobility schemes and autonomous vehicles. However, new opportunities are also developing fast in the governmental sector, linked to synchronisation capabilities linked to GNSS, which pave the ways to new applications in energy, finance and telecom infrastructure. Consumer solutions are also rapidly expanding, enabling personalised location-based services in sport and social-media. 

Disruptive potential

“GNSS technologies have the potential today to be as disruptive as the internet was 30 years ago. The business models of manufacturers in the automobile, aviation, rail, maritime, agriculture, consumer and telecoms sectors will change to increasingly focus on fusion with new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and satellite data,” was a key message of the EIB experts. “European market leaders are already strong players in some sectors, but they need to keep investing and scaling up rapidly their applications to retain their competitive edge, amid fast changing market dynamics, driven by more affordable prices of location-based technologies."

New financial instruments

By working together under the MoU, the GSA and EIB will promote R&D investments and pilots in the GNSS market and encourage companies and public authorities to mobilise GNSS funds, so that the next decade can see new European GNSS winners. To facilitate this, the GSA and the EIB will cooperate to design new financial instruments and set up a targeted financial envelope to support the development of EU New Space.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (

Updated: Apr 30, 2021



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