Running from 2007 to 2013, the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) brought the major research-related EU initiatives together under a single comprehensive programme, playing a crucial role in reaching the Union's goals defined in the Lisbon agenda of growth, competitiveness and employment. FP7 was a key pillar for the European Research Area (ERA), along with the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), education and training programmes, and structural and cohesion funds for regional convergence and competitiveness.

Galileo FP7 strategic objectives were to create economic value, achieve public benefits and increase the competitiveness of European industry, through the acceleration of downstream satellite navigation markets.

GNSS research under FP7

FP7 supported R&D and innovation on GNSS by accelerating the European market for satellite navigation applications and creating opportunities for European industry. To ensure optimal exploitation of results, GALILEO research and development activities under FP7 were managed by the GSA, based on some important underlying principles:

  1. FP7 activities were to build upon work carried out under previous research programmes, especially the GALILEO development programme FP5, FP6 and ESA's GALILEOSat in order to fill remaining gaps and move towards strategic objectives.
  2. FP7 GNSS R&D were to create real benefits for its stakeholders. The return on public investment was to be assessed on the basis of these benefits, which includes overall economic value, strongly correlated with time-to-market of project outputs.

FP7 supported the development of applications of wide public interest that improved the quality or the efficiency of public services across the EU, or that could become relevant instruments for the implementation of EU policies. It also laid the ground for the development of other GNSS applications, taking into account:

  • Expected impact in terms of market penetration and economic value
  • Funding of high-potential and high-risk applications less likely to attract private investment
  • Adequate balance of risks within the FP7 project portfolio.

Finally, within the scope of FP7, the GSA created new tools such as networking, global visibility and support the engagement of SMEs willing to invest in GNSS.