Two awards promote European GNSS in Asia

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19 January 2017
According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, Asia is the ‘hot spot’ for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).
According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, Asia is the ‘hot spot’ for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).

Two GSA-funded projects – BELS and – are encouraging the use of European GNSS in Asia through the launch of two innovation competitions. 

According to the most recent edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, Asia is the ‘hot spot’ for global navigation satellite systems (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. Furthermore, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) notes that the region is becoming increasingly active in chipset manufacturing, along with building its own constellations.

Asia is clearly an important market for GNSS and, as such, the GSA is dedicated to ensuring European businesses are in a position to benefit from it. As part of this effort, the GSA is actively engaged with two Horizon 2020-funded projects geared towards supporting European interests within the Asian GNSS market.

Also read: Promoting European interests in the Asian GNSS market

The BELS project aims to facilitate the breakthrough of European GNSS (EGNSS) technology in South-East Asia (SEA). To accomplish this, the project is conducting a set of coordinated activities to raise awareness and build capacities for the exploitation of EGNSS technologies., on the other hand, is dedicated to developing and implementing GNSS industrial cooperation between European and Asia-Pacific GNSS industries, with a focus on the downstream market. maintains a team of GNSS and industry experts in its target regions of India, China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan that lend individual support to European companies.

Also read: Testing the NAVIS waters

In conjunction with last year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), both projects have launched their own competitions.

The BELS Special Prize

The BELS Special Prize looks for innovative downstream applications that use Galileo and have a substantial positive impact on SEA countries. Participants compete for a EUR 2 000 cash prize that can be applied towards their research. In addition, the winner is invited to spend six months at a European incubator or research centre, where they can refine their idea and work towards developing a prototype. A budget of EUR 20 000 is provided to cover the associated travel and living expenses for two people.  

The latest prize was awarded to the Autism Trigger, Tracking and Trace (ATTracT) project from Malaysia. Approximately 9 000 children are born with autism in Malaysia every year. One of the key challenges for parents raising an autistic child is protecting them against their propensity to wander. The ATTracT project looks to solve this challenge with the help of a GNSS. The application sets up virtually defined movement zones that can be activated in accordance with a child’s daily schedule. If a child wanders outside the predefined zone, the parent will receive an alert on their mobile phone, which they can then use to track their child in real-time. The project is also working on a similar monitoring and tracking system that can be used by schools or rehabilitation centres. This system will allow the user to track the movement of all the children under their supervision at the same time.   

The Challenge

The Challenge is open to anyone from the Asia-Pacific region with an innovative business, service or product based on multi-GNSS. In addition to potential access to the impressive ENC prize pool, winners receive free business coaching from renowned GNSS experts and travel grants to attend award ceremonies in Manila and Madrid. Winners are also given the chance to meet GNSS industry partners from across Asia and Europe and to present their project at the Industry Seminar.

This year, the Challenge attracted a record 60 complete entries, making it the most successful ESNC region. The winner was Frank Tsai from the Taiwanese Institute for Information Industry for his Drone Video Capturing (DVC) concept. DVC combines drones with another rapidly developing GNSS market segment: the Internet of Things (IoT). The team is targeting the entertainment industry, allowing producers to capture aerial-based close-up shots of important people within large crowds or events. When a drone’s GNSS location matches that of a pre-registered individual in the crowd, it delivers content with customised close-ups of that particular person. The DVC application then enables interactive sharing and viewing of images and video among the user community and on established social networks.

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: Jan 20, 2017



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