The benefits that space technology bring to European citizens and how these benefits can be maximized was one of the key topics discussed at the European Navigation Conference (ENC) in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 10 May.
Users were very much the centre of attention at the opening Navigation Science and Strategy session at this year’s European Navigation Conference (ENC). In his opening speech, GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides stressed the importance of service delivery. He noted that, as of the first of July this year, the GSA will take the lead in the operations and service provision of Galileo. “This is an important time for Galileo and the GSA, following the Declaration of Initial Services in December, and the award of the Galileo Service Operator contract,” he said. Looking to the future, des Dorides highlighted that two important strategic pillars are underpinning the work of the Agency: the new European Space Strategy, announced by the Commission at the end of last year, and the GSA’s 2017 GNSS Market Report.
Also read: GSA Signs Galileo Service Operator Contract
5th GSA GNSS Market Report
The latest edition of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report was officially launched during the ENC! According to des Dorides, over the past five years the report has become an internationally recognised document downloaded by many thousands of GNSS users. The GSA GNSS Market Report is coupled with the GSA’s GNSS User Technology Report, which the GSA published for the first time last year. From now on, the GSA will publish their GNSS Market Report and the Technology Report on alternate years.
Download now: 5th GSA GNSS Market Report 2017
Highlights from the 2017 GNSS Market Report:
As there will be more GNSS devices in the world than people by 2020, des Dorides said that growth for applications and services will be even more impressive. “European GNSS is ready to face the major technology trends that lie ahead,” he said.
Miguel Mantiega Bautista, GNSS Evolutions Programme Manager at the European Space Agency (ESA), concurred. He said that companies are starting to believe in the business and, as a result, navigation will soon be at the centre of a huge number of business development models. To capitalise on this, GNSS must be able to rapidly adapt to market trends and be committed to providing consumers with value-added services. “GNSS has to adapt or it will become irrelevant,” he said.
“We are very lucky to be arriving at this point at a time when the system is reaching maturity,” Bautista noted, adding that the ESA, the European Commission, Member States and the European GNSS Agency (GSA), were undertaking a huge joint effort to set the path for the next generation of GNSS systems.
Paving the way for Galileo and EGNOS
To ensure Europe is positioned to answer the opportunities and challenges that come with these major technological trends, last year the European Commission launched the European Space Strategy. Des Dorides highlighted five key elements of the Strategy, the first of which is to maximize the benefits of space for society. According to des Dorides, this will require strong action on market uptake. He noted that this is particularly important because, with EGNOS and Galileo, Europe is building the infrastructure highway on which applications and services will transit. “It is through these applications and services that Europe is expecting to receive a return on its investment,” he said.
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