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Cooperation Day   PDF  Print  E-mail 

Fostering cooperation between Polish and Western Europe industries in the field of satellite navigation applications.

The European Union (EU) has launched the development of the Galileo Programme in 1999, stressing the need to give a positive boost to European industry, while at the same time ensuring Europe’s independence in a crucial technology. European Institutions (EC and ESA) assigned 1.2 billion euro to the system development and validation phases, moreover, 100 million euro is devoted to Galileo mission and application activities in the 6th Framework Programme.
The real challenge for Europe is to actually generate the projected economic and social benefits, including the anticipated creation of new jobs. These benefits are closely dependant to the achievements of European downstream Industry in the 25 Member States. However, despite its recognized scientific and technological potential, it is worthwhile to notice that Polish organizations are only very slightly involved in Galileo-European projects. This is due to the lack of sufficient contacts with possible partners from Western Europe, who in turn do not have enough information on Polish capabilities.
In order to improve this situation, the Galileo Point of the Polish Space Office and the European Commission GALILEAN project organized the European Satellite Navigation Cooperation Day. The aim of the event was to foster cooperation between Polish and Western European Industries in the field of satellite navigation applications and to develop networking opportunities. The conference took place on November 30th in Space Research Centre in Warsaw. The seminar was attended by around 100 participants from European GNSS downstream industry such as suppliers of equipment and services, and research institutes from both Western Europe and Poland.

During the seminar the following issues were addressed:

  1. Existing European-wide tools (industry associations and European projects) aiming at facilitating contacts and cooperation in satellite navigation applications,
  2. Examples of European projects, applications and fund-raising mechanisms,
  3. Industry presentations and opportunities for cooperation.

The first session was devoted to Galileo Programme Update and existing GNSS cooperation networks.
For Polish institutions particularly interesting can be OREGIN – an organization of European industry and research entities active in the area of GNSS equipment and services comprising approximately 250 members. It was created in February 1999 as a medium for information exchange and cross-fertilization of expertise. OREGIN’s mission is to back up the Galileo Programme right from the definition phase in order to obtain early operational benefits and standardize Galileo-based products. It provides a point of contact for the European Union, European Commission and Space industry for Galileo user segment related views. It disseminates information from the Galileo projects to the manufacturing industries of Europe that are interested in Galileo but not directly involved. In its activities OREGIN benefits from the vast experience of leading industrial groups combined with the innovative spirit and responsiveness of SMEs who are its members in order to support the interests of the European industry. OREGIN endeavors to identify new market opportunities and take necessary actions to ensure their feasibility. The organization facilitates the search of new partners and supports the cooperation among its members (especially large industrial groups and SMEs) as well as encourages the R&D entities to participate in the development of Galileo system. It provides its members with all information concerning Galileo and current and planned projects. OREGIN is open to any European industry or R&D entity and is free of charge. Registration can be done online through the OREGIN website (

Galileo Services is another non-profit association set up to support the development of the downstream business. It comprises 16 Members from 11 countries, from SMEs to large industrial groups. The Galileo Services association is offering a coordinated approach to the Galileo downstream market development and its members are playing a key role in the Galileo studies. The vice-president of the association, Gard Ueland from Kongsberg Seatex underlined that Galileo Services is open to welcome new members and to work with new partners from the enlarged Europe.

The NAVOBS project conducted by the European Commission is of similar character. It is a network type activity and is fostering new business activities of SMEs based on space infrastructure (GNSS, GMES, satellite telecommunications). The NAVOBS programme aims at building a European community of SMEs involved in business exploitation of space infrastructure.

During the second session two consortia bidding to become the Galileo Operating Company were presented.
The first one, iNavSat, comprises three European industry leaders: EADS, Inmarsat and Thales, as well as over 30 companies from European and non-European countries which are exclusively associated with the consortium. Mr. Gérad Brachet presented the iNavsat system concept, its approach to costs, division of roles and responsibilities between private and public partners and to deployment and operations of Galileo. In response to a question about future status of EGNOS Mr. Brachet explained that EGNOS should be used as a market precursor of Galileo and as an instrument enabling Galileo to penetrate rapidly the market for satellite navigation. While EGNOS will be integrated into Galileo, it still requires a separate operator.
The second consortium, Eurely, is formed around Alcatel and Finmeccanica, and is comprising as well ASF, AENA, Hispasat and ENAV. It is supported by numerous associated companies from different European countries (i.e. France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium and UK) and by several regional partners from the US, China and India. Eurely is looking for new partners, who are willing to develop services and applications and who are players on their respective markets and can contribute their domain-specific knowledge to the development of those markets (in particular, maritime operators would be welcome).

The third session of the conference was devoted to the presentation of 7 selected projects realized by Western European companies. Having briefly presented the Galileo R&D activities plan and an overview of the first and second Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU) call under the 6th RTD Framework Programme Ms. Marie-Laure Mathieu from FDC talked about cooperation opportunities for the third Galileo call as well as for the FP7 related activities to be launched from 2006 to 2010. Afterwards the representatives of Western companies presented their achievements in Galileo receivers’ development (Septentrio), maritime and inland waterways services utilising Galileo (Kongsberg Seatex), GNSS-based telematics applications in railway operations (Bombardier Transportation), GNSS applications to aviation and rail (INECO-TIFSA), satellite location technology (Alcatel Space), GNSS signal generators (Spirent Communications) and business models for Location Based Services (Logica CMG). All speakers underlined their interest in finding potential partners from Poland and indicated some possible areas for cooperation.

During the last session 5 Polish projects were presented. They addressed the following topics: GNSS applications for time transfer (Space Research Centre), vessel traffic management systems using EGNOS/GALILEO (Maritime University Szczecin and Dornier Consulting GmbH), location based applications for transport safety and antiterrorist activity support (Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements), teletransmission of DGPS/RTK data via GSM/GPRS (University of Warmia and Mazury) and telematic services (Autoguard & Insurance). A general overview of Polish GNSS Activities was given by Janusz B. Zieliñski, Galileo Point Coordinator.

In the discussion that followed the last session Polish scientists and businessmen analysed the specific barriers faced by Polish industry on the European GNSS market and sought possible solutions to overcome them. According to the Western companies, the main obstacle in the establishment of contacts is the lack of sufficient information about Polish scientific and technological potential. In order to change this situation, Polish achievements should be better promoted on European GNSS forums and Polish entities should participate in information and contact networks such as OREGIN or Polish Galileo Information Point.

For a full version of minutes of European Satellite Navigation Cooperation Day please click here